In her new single “In da Couch,” Scarlett Deva dispenses a seductive strain of post-punk indulgence that is unrivaled in her scene at the moment. Utilizing a colorful synth as the centerpiece of the song, Deva constructs a romantic melody wrapped in psychedelic-tinged harmonies, constantly pushing the bass as far as it can go in terms of physicality. The energy is relaxed, but the pace of the music doesn’t feel slothful in the least. Deva is melding a lot of different elements together here, and doing a good job of making it look all too seamless.
The hook in the chorus is light and effervescent, accented with a strutting acoustic guitar and laced with an overdriven bassline that saturates the entire backend of the track in ominous textures that are as expressive as the lyrics are. “In da Couch” was very carefully arranged as to produce a really well-balanced sonic profile, and I think that relative to what I’ve heard in similarly stylized singles, this is actually a pretty slick sound. It isn’t as beefy as it is acrylic in nature, but for my taste it’s a satisfying tonality nevertheless.
From where I sit, the melody in the vocal track is the driving force for this entire song. Everything is built around it, from the string parts to the keys to the synths and back to the drum, and you could absolutely make the argument that the single wouldn’t be half as engaging were it not outfitted with as velvety a voice as we find here. “In da Couch” doesn’t try and change the world with its simple pop structure, but that’s precisely what I enjoy about it. It’s a humble harmony with a fun lyricism that doesn’t feel forced or contrived in any way.
Artificiality plagues the modern synthpop sound, but that isn’t an issue for Deva’s new single. “In da Couch” flirts with hip-hop themes, trance rhythms and synthpop minimalism, but Deva makes sure to keep its actual synthesized parts as free of the plasticity that has ruined otherwise accessible material from her closest contemporaries in the industry. Make no mistake – this is a very streamlined song from start to finish, but to say that its synth melodies are anything but warm and organically textured simply wouldn’t be true. It’s a hard concept for most musicians to master, but apparently, it isn’t for this singer/songwriter.
I’m really looking forward to hearing more from Scarlett Deva in the future, as this one single only gives me a small sampling of what I can only imagine she’s capable of when there’s nothing to hold her back in the studio. If this is representative of her overall approach to aesthetics and songwriting, I must say that she’s picked the right time to get into pop music. Surrealism has been influencing new artists left and right lately, but in Scarlett Deva, we have someone who might be able to strike the proper balance between its instrumental grandiosity and abstract narratives.
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