Most critics will tell you, when asked about the current state of electronica, that the genre has never been a more diverse playground of up and comers than it is today, decades after the pioneering work of artists like Kraftwerk laid the foundation for everything we know and love about the aesthetic, and when listening to the new single from Kevin Hockaday, titled “Big Mouth Small Brain,” it’s difficult for even the most stubborn of authorities to argue with the validity of this statement. Hockaday applies elements of ambient minimalism to a decadent, EDM-inspired framework in “Big Mouth Small Brain” that has critics like myself abuzz this spring, and if you give the track a listen, you’re likely to understand what all the fuss has been about inside of its first twenty seconds.
There’s nothing in “Big Mouth Small Brain” that could be used by the press to tether Hockaday’s stylistic approach to that of his rather bloated competitors in the mainstream realm of the electronic genre, but that said, I wouldn’t necessarily deem his new single to be a purely left-field endeavor. There’s definitely an element of conventionalism within the construction of this beat, with the tempo of the percussion echoing the depth of the bassline wonderfully, but outside of their synchronized groove, the drive in this song centers far more on scattered elements than it does anything being pulled together in a singular force. Is it going to be everyone’s cup of tea? Of course not, but that’s precisely what makes “Big Mouth Small Brain” such a lusciously discriminating listen.
I honestly found the mixing here to be almost as angular as the music is on its own, and as I see it, this was undoubtedly intentional on the part of Kevin Hockaday. Similar to some of the titans of EDM that came before him, Hockaday is using every element in this single as a means of both spellbinding us and rousing our focus to different parts of the track at different moments, as to create as much of an intimate listening environment as can be achieved from within the four walls of a recording studio. This is a composer with a lot of emotional investment in his medium, and that should be obvious to anyone who acquires his new single this month.
If what I’m hearing in “Big Mouth Small Brain” is going to be on par with what Kevin Hockaday plans on releasing throughout his career in the 2020s, I don’t think it would be premature to anoint him with the title of ‘Key Artist to Watch’ this season. Hockaday comes out swinging even harder here than he did in his debut EP, last year’s haunting Night of the Dream People, and though the buzz that followed that record’s release would be difficult for any player to live up to, he’s doing one heck of a fine job at matching the hype in this latest cut. He’s made a fan out of me, and from the looks of it, the American indie underground in general.
The music of KEVIN HOCKADAY has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com
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