Wednesday, 11 September 2013

SAINT PEPSI UNHAPPY

Here is a song that I was supposed to write about like last week but Saint Pepsi (aka Ryan DeRobertis) decided to take it down soon after he'd put it up. It's called 'Unhappy' and I think must refer to end of summer. That's an assumption based both on the time of year it is currently - the end of summer - and the fact that the main hooks in his song come from an altered sample of a song called 'The Summer Ends' by an emo (yeah emo) band called American Football, who were around from 1997-2000.

And well well well. Firstly, how genuine to have sampled a song that isn't a hot pop hit, something of the moment, but something that was probably totally in Saint Pepsi's ears at some point or another in his life. That's a really nice touch. And from that you can I suppose infer that he's completely making the music that he wants to make, with no constraints, no box, no label (certainly not that of vaporwave), instead going totally on what he wants to do.

In this instance, the slow guitar arpeggios and unassuming percussion in the original become faster and get summarily glitched-out, along with vocals that are now nicely chipmunked, but not in a bad way - high vocals can of course go one of two ways, and this one has come out ok.

Alongside the magic of this sample - the strange nostalgia from a song I've never heard from a band I never knew effusing from its now-altered state - there's now chunks of smooth bass and a hip hop/I-guess-trap beat, in which much revelry seems to be had with producing joyful flourishes on the snare and hi-hat, making it a very energetic beat indeed. Some synth finds its way in there somehow, after the midsection of the song.

On the surface of things, setting a sample of an emo song to a down-south-flavoured hip hop beat is theoretical madness. Imagine that working. Well, it has, in this instance. It's worked very well. It's a multicoloured shower of candy, trap turned on its head, emo's frown turned upside down - yet in the midst of this subversion, there is emotion. Whether it's happy or sad is up to how you're hearing it, I suppose.

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