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[new] Luz – “The Author” (79bpm Cmaj)

Here’s a woman who is dripping with talent. She has excellent intonation, and expression. I couldn’t find out for sure whether she wrote this song, but if she did she’s got a tremendous ability there as well. If I had to offer her any advice, I would say be careful not to typecast yourself as an angsty teen. Relax, smile, and have a little fun once in a while. Hopefully we’ll hear more good stuff from her in the months and years ahead. You may like her cover of Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now.”

[new] Chord OverStreet – “What You Need” (70bpm Cmaj)

When done right, Vocoder harmony is a really great sound. Imogen Heap’s Hide & Seek is the quintessential example. Chord OverStreet’s implementation is different, but really well done. The dreamy guitar with the attack removed, (a la Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,”) creates a fantastic atmosphere. I appreciate that he leaves nice pauses between the phrases in the chorus. Most popular music today doesn’t have the courage to take a moments like this, moments to let things breath and sink in. Claude Debussy is quoted as saying that “music is the space between the notes.” Glad to see that they decided to be patient and not rush through it. The chord choices are interesting and not just the obvious ones to go with the melody, and the multipart harmony in the bridge is a nice bonus. I would have liked the bridge to go a little further than it did.

This does fall under the category of “Pathetic Guy Song.” I would advise any guy who feels this way about a woman to seek therapy. You’re in for some really bad times.

When I saw the actual lyrics, I was disappointed. I liked what I thought I’d heard better:

I can take the losing sleep,
There’s pills to help anxiety,
I would take the mess you leave,
If I could give you what you need

[new] Dashboard Confessional – “Circles” (120bpm Cmaj)

If you want to hear an artist do a cover that’s better than the original, this would be a good example. Post Malone’s original version makes some odd choices. The auto-tune on the vocals makes it sound flat and lifeless. The warbling effect on the vocals during the chorus is distracting, and the whole sonic presentation seems muted, accentuating odd and annoying frequencies.

Dashboard Confessional brings life back to this track addressing the problems mentioned above. Nice job!