Pop music that is as spellbinding texturally as it is lyrically is a rare find by any measure, but Szandra Mayer shells it out with impunity in her new single “Never Ever,” which wraps its glowing grooves around us in a melodic embrace that will leave listeners begging for more from this sensational young voice. Mayer craters us with her poetic emotion in the verses and swings a heavy bassline with her swaggering strut, which itself is just as moving an element in this track as the percussion is. She’s firing on all cylinders in “Never Ever,” and though we’ve yet to be surprised by the level of talent that the American indie pop underground is presenting us with this spring, there’s something really special about what Mayer is doing in this single, and furthermore, the scene that spawned her. The harmonies are transcendent and steeped in a vivid tonality that you don’t come across every day, and in a time where pop is as all-encompassing a term as it’s ever been, she brings an old school confidence to a breed of electronic dance music that the genre will need to survive in the 2020’s.
Mayer’s vocal track is decadent and larger than life, but it never feels overstated or needlessly indulgent in the master mix. It showcases just how incredibly tuneful she is, even when she’s tackling melodies that are the size of mountains, which is arguably just as big a challenge for vocalists that have spent well over a dozen years refining their sound in the studio – the same amount of time, ironically, that Mayer has spent on earth.
Most American pre-teens are concerned with homework, keeping up with their friends and just trying to fit in, but this young woman has got much loftier ambitions. She dispatches some sonic fireworks in this single that are impossible for even the most discriminating of music critics among us to ignore, and for my money, pop really doesn’t get much more charismatic than what “Never Ever” gives up in each and every spin that it’s given by curious listeners disinterested in the stale status quo of the present-day Billboard charts.
If “Never Ever” is representative of what we can expect to hear out of Szandra Mayer’s studio work in the future, then there’s no need for debate in regards to whether or not we can expect some really affective music bearing her name in the future. Mayer doesn’t weigh her material down with a lot of excessive augmentation, and while her beats are faceted in boisterously brute bass and sly synthesizers that shake our floorboards at the right volume, our attention is always transfixed on her angelic singing. “Never Ever” is setting the stage for what will undoubtedly be a really prolific creative odyssey for this songwriter, but I don’t think that she should be in a rush to develop her sound further. She’s got all the time in the world to really let this talent simmer and evolve into an unbeatable beast, and my gut tells me that – going off of the passion she exhibits in this song – she’s going to do whatever it takes to ensure that this skill only gets better as she gets older.
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