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“I’m Falling Off of the World” by Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam

COVID-19 might have people around the globe confined to social distancing, but that didn’t stop Project Grand Slam from producing a video fitting for the times in “I’m Falling Off of the World.” In this exclusive sneak preview of the first music video from the band’s latest album, the highly-anticipated East Side Sessions, players unite around the commanding prowess of Robert Miller in a split-screen display of showmanship worth its weight in gold. There aren’t any props, fancy visuals or elaborate animations for us to break down here – “I’m Falling Off of the World” is as unfiltered as it gets, putting the music before everything else. Colliding into each other at a breakneck speed, we watch as all of the different parts in the song (keys, drums, bass, guitar, vocals) come together in perfect harmony, with their amalgamative sonic opus creating a swanky rhythm to groove with. You don’t have to be the biggest Project Grand Slam fan in the world to appreciate what the group has compiled in this brand new cut, but for those of us who have been following their progress, it’s just what this season needed.

Singer Marilyn Castillo’s pacing of the verses is slightly uneven with the percussion in this track, but it’s completely deliberate. Tension is used as a method of drawing us closer to the hook as the band ascends a melodic ladder to galaxies above, but it’s never over-exploited in an effort to create synthetic chills. There isn’t a stitch of space in this master mix that goes underutilized; if I’m being completely honest, there are even a couple of moments towards the middle portion of the song where the wall of percussion becomes almost hurricane-like.

If you want a glimpse into what kind of energy East Side Sessions is built upon, this is probably the best intro to the record’s soul that you can get ahold of prior to its official release later this season. It’s stripped-down, no-frills jazz with a rock n’ roll lifeblood, and in today’s puritan fusion culture, it’s quite the rare find indeed.

“I’m Falling Off of the World” crashes across the finish line after a little more than four minutes of legitimate melodic brutality, and when it comes to a conclusion, I personally can’t help but feel like I’ve just heard some of the most well-rounded jazz play to emerge from the underground circuit in 2020. In the past five years alone, Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam has released some of the more engaging and endearing content of anyone in their scene, and with the official arrival of this video and its parent album, they assert themselves as a premier act in the modern pop lexicon. East Side Sessions and “I’m Falling Off of the World” appeal as much to the devoted jazz fan as they do the casual observer, and though this isn’t the first time PGS has blown me away with their incredible attention to detail, their performance feels as inspired as it did when I discovered them years ago.

Mindy McCall

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