One imagines soft lighting, filters to cast the scene in warm colors, slow swirls of fog in listening to “Give It A Chance.” The single by Paragon Cause from its new album What We Started produced by Sune Rose of The Ravenonettes started life as a lo-fi hip-hop song but evolved into something more like the the New Wave pop R&B you might have heard in the early 80s like when Sheena Easton did “For Your Eyes Only.” And there is some of that romance to the tone of the song but in the vocals there is more of an enticement than an offering, thus the title of the song. It sounds like an invitation to attempt get two people to try loving again after getting hurt in the past and being reluctant to being vulnerable and open. The effervescent synth washes, softly accented percussion and simple keyboard melody augment the melodious vocals, drawing you into a winsome vision of possibilities without being pushy or desperate about those feelings. While invoking the moods and sounds of an earlier era of music in the end the song sounds very much of the present even as it borrows, intentionally or not, from the vibe of 70s and 80s soft rock. The production places the track in the present and its use of layered dynamics and atmospheres meticulously but subtly puts you in a nostalgic and hopeful frame of mind. Listen to “Give It A Chance” on Spotify and follow Paragon Cause at the links below.
Gateway Drugs look like they filmed the music video for “Wait (Medication)” in a neglected office in a building abandoned since the 1990s with the drop ceiling utilizing a few surveillance video cameras to catch the band in action. The song has a dynamic like a sustained blues riff blown out to hypnotic, dreamlike proportions. The vocal duet lends the song an emotional vitality that contrasts with a song about romanticizing one’s own loneliness and malaise. The effect is something like writing a song to embrace those feelings as something genuine and deeply felt while dancing out of that seductive death spiral. Fans of The Brain Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols and The Warlocks will appreciate the way Gateway Drugs transform personal darkness into psychedelic, musical poetry while singing out the heartache just a little at a time. The single is part of the band’s sophomore record PSA produced by Sune of The Raveonettes at Josh Homme’s Pink Duck Studios. PSA dropped on May 8, 2020 through Future Shock Records. Watch the video for “Wait (Medication)” on YouTube.