Starting this week we are going to be doing a new Track of the Week post every Friday. It’s going to rotate as to who is picking and writing the article, ranging from us here at Echosynthetic to guests who will be contributing to the topic. There are no rules other than synths have to be involved somehow! Chris Frain of Pattern Language / Echosynthetic is bringing you our debut article! Enjoy!
I tend to prefer the dreamy side of music genres, and this opening track from glitbiter’s debut EP has a slow-burn dream-like quality to it that both places it squarely in synthwave but also could be appreciated by listeners who are into other genres that emphasize mystery and nuance over face-melting riffs (not that there’s anything wrong with that). At times the vocals and overall vibe of the track even reminded me of Laura Groves’ recent Committed Language EP, who is quite far from anything that might be considered synthwave.
The first thing that jumped out at me about this track is its deceptively complicated 6-over-4 feel. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, think of the subtle shuffle of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. The precise staccato arpeggios that run through the song’s length serve as the foundation for everything built around it, including the Yamaha DX-7-ish piano melodies that introduce the piece and the occassional synth flourishes that punctuate each stanza. Once the bass and vocals enter we’re into full synthwave territory as the beat drives us relentlessly into the song without overwhelming any of the instrumentation around it. The vocal is perfectly performed and mixed for this type of track, integrating seamlessly with everything else going on around it and enhancing the sense of mystery. Overall the track has a beautiful glassy-without-being-brittle quality about it, including the spacious reverb that is featured at the very end. It serves as a great example of how to hold back a little and create suspense to really draw the listener in. The narrative of the song, both lyrically and musically, creates the impression that we’re just experiencing the introduction to something larger in the works.
Based in Los Angeles, glitbiter shared the following about the piece:
Airship was one of the first songs that I wrote under the name glitbiter. Admittedly, the song started out with a preset sound that I just ran with. Lyrically, it goes a little deeper. I have a friend who told me that he was “looking for stories,” while he was traveling abroad. That phrase stuck with me, and it became sort of a mantra for me to get up and do something new. The song is about being lost and found, and starting new journeys, which is how glitbiter started, in the first place.
The Short Stories EP was released in August 2017 and is available on BandCamp at: [https://glitbiter.bandcamp.com/album/short-stories-ep]
When he’s not waiting for infinite trains to finish crossing the road, Chris Frain produces and performs electronic music under the moniker Pattern Language. His EP, Total Squaresville, is available from Happy Robots Records (UK) at: https://happyrobotsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/total-squaresville