Swarthy strands of synthesized melodicism come slicing through our airspace as we descend into the grasp of the tightly-wound TC Superstar and their new single “Into You.” Slowly, they grow in size and take on an angular, abrasive shape that will be tempered by nothing but a basic, black and white beat and a smoky vocal from center stage that is as riddled with unyielding somber introspection as it gets. The rhythm is sinfully slothful, but before we have a chance to dissect its tension-inducing lack of agility, it starts to pick up in a postmodern show of strength that contrasts with the effervescence of the bassline and vocal track. There’s a lot going on in this single, and as complicated and intricate as the arrangement becomes once we get into the guts of the song, it never turns to the unnecessarily indulgent, excessive or sacrificial in its crusade to melt our hearts with its conversely simplistic song structure. If you haven’t heard the music of TC Superstar before, this is undoubtedly an excellent track to use as a means of getting acquainted with their phenomenally zany musicality.
The video for “Into You” is more performance art than it is dream pop, but it never devolves into the pretentiousness of the former in the least. The bleak colorization – i.e. everyone in the video wearing an impossibly bright white against an ominously dark backdrop – doesn’t translate as negatively as one might expect it would on paper; in fact, quite the contrary. Because of its jarring visuals, “Into You” benefits from a cerebral imagery that is at once completely estranged from and wholly embedded in the fabric of the music that it was crafted to interpret. Is it everyone’s cup of tea?
No, but for the discriminating music aficionado with a taste for iridescent indie rock that knows no boundaries when it comes to making a stimulating piece that owes as much to artistic duality as it does straightforward songwriting at its most uncompromisingly DIY, it doesn’t get much better than what TC Superstar have constructed for us here. I’ve heard some really fun tracks in this style this season, but few have made the big impression in casual listening sessions that this song does every time I give it a spin.
If this is a taste of what TC Superstar have got cooking in the studio at the moment, then I cannot wait to hear what they come up with next. “Into You” shows off a lot of really interesting experimental qualities that were absent from the band’s sound before 2019, and I think that if they continue to follow the trajectory being presented to us in this release, then they have a real chance at breaking out of the underground and finding a little bit of that mainstream fame and fortune that they’ve been working so hard to achieve in the last few years. TC Superstar have one big thing going for them that most of their peers do not, and that is they know who they are as a band. They’re not searching for their sound on “Into You;” for all intents and purposes, it would seem they’ve found a style that is truly theirs and theirs alone.
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