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Schaus – Buying a Pool (single)

Schaus’ single “Buying a Pool” is one of the best electronic driven tracks I’ve heard in recent memory. The song, as a standalone release, is one of the genre’s more varied examples than you will soon hear as it balances things equal between personal/artistic exploration and entertaining a waiting public. Scott Schaus has demonstrated considerable patience expanding the project’s profile for indie and electronic music fans; the well rounded and orchestrated heft of this song is impressive and certain to satisfy casual lovers of the style. Schaus, at his apex, is doing nothing less than reinterpreting and translating traditional musical styles into a personalized language shaped by an individual sound and approach. “Buying a Pool” checks those boxes and more; an intense personality emerges through the vocals and lyrics.

He wears an assortment of musical hats on the release. The production and computer powered contributions he makes the final result is without doubt among the track’s defining elements, but he handles piano, electric drums, bass, piano, and guitar duties on the recording as well. Despite often shifting stylistic gears during the song, I never felt disoriented or as if Schaus were rushing such traditions. His nods to R&B echoes, dance, straight forward pop, and polyrhythmic passages are littered throughout the song.  If nothing preceding “Buying a Pool” has done managed to do so, the new single establishes Schaus as a consistent songwriter adept at different styles.

His skill extends to vocals. Schaus takes on a variety of voices as the musical texture demands and there aren’t any seams showing in his transition from one to another. Another singer would have made different decisions, without question, but few will complain about Schaus’ phrasing choices during this performance. The same convincing and authoritative tone of the music defines the feel and sound of Scott Schaus’ voice. His placement of the vocal melody throughout the cut is its crowning touch and strikes a perfect match with the arrangement.

“Buying a Pool” will please those familiar with his music and likely divide the opinions of newcomers. It isn’t a slight to say Schaus’ sound and approach isn’t for everyone – those hidebound to tradition might demur at how Schaus re-envisions multiple musical styles. They may appreciate this track on a superficial level and no deeper. Others, however, will recognize this young composer and musician is challenging himself and listeners in a way few of his peers seldom do. I appreciate how he never conforms to common place expectations – Scott Schaus, instead, plays as an artist focused on pleasing audiences on his own idiosyncratic terms.

It is little wonder why this multi-disciplinary artist has prospered as a live artist opening for indie darlings like Wild Ones and John Maus and they boast a recent appearance at Portland, Oregon’s 2019 PDX Pop Now Festival. He has maintained a prolific creative clip since debuting in 2017 and due for another release in 2020 – there are no signs of his pace or creative energy ebbing on the new single “Buying a Pool”. If anything, Schaus gains momentum with each new release and this is no exception.

Mindy McCall

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