Tuesday 9 May 2017


Dynamic plays a big part in this new one from LA singer Michl. It swings like a galactic pendulum between the soft synths of the verse, its sparse beat with miniature percussion clicks, and the chorus, a swaying segment of the song that's sultry with wide rich synths and the harplike glittering sweeps of sound that give it a heavenly feeling. 'Waste?' questions ourselves, exhibits doubt; in the verse the synths grow and bulge and play in different patterns when Michl croons, "So what's next?"—in the second verse a pulse of synth bass begins to rumble at this juncture. Questions arise, unanswered, and send us into the exquisite disquiet of the chorus, where the snares clack and the hi-hats shuffle-swing, each one a sonic shrug, unable to answer the question of whether or not everything will go to waste, the synth shivering around it anxiously in the wake of this big question mark.

Michl's singing in the verse, lilting and beautifully treated by the space in between the sounds that cradles his voice, his vocals are also rhythmic, which is part of which makes this song so instantly likeable. The metre is verging on that in which Shakespeare wrote his plays, iambic pentameter, a rhythmic way of speaking where there are 10 syllables written in pairs, unstressed-stressed. However, in 'Waste?' this is shaken up. For instance: "i can't push this barrel any farther" is the other way round. We have then "cause every single step is getting harder" which is iambic, but there are 11 and not 10 syllables. And in the pre-chorus, "can anyone repair the mess we've made?"—this line is iambic, and follows the chords that play behind it.

This rhythm, like a heartbeat – de-DUM de-DUM – is naturally easy to follow, but by adding and subtracting syllables, stressing it backwards, the followable is subtly changed and sticks out, catching the listeners' attention. The point of this? Michl writes them well, that's what.

Michl Internet Presence ☟

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