Ghostly and more than a little postmodern in stylization, there’s no getting around just how profound an impact the guitar parts have on JHelix’s new single and music video “Baby Yellow (In a Dream).” Although frequently drowned out by a beefy synthesizer as we get deeper into the track, the strings impart a layer of passion to the music early on that influences the mood of the narrative in a way that nothing else possibly could have. JHelix is straddling sexy grooves and out-of-body harmonies in his latest release, but he’s keeping organic elements of melodic charisma exactly where they belong.
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The strings certainly aren’t the only mind-bending gem to behold in “Baby Yellow (In a Dream);” if anything they’re one of the most conventional components in the whole of the mix. The vocal is almost translucent here, reflecting so much more of the emotion in the music than it does the lyrics – and vice versa. Juxtaposition is the key theme in this single, and while there’s an argument to be made that the same can be said for a lot indie electronic pop coming out right now, nothing I’ve heard in recent months sounds, feels, or in the case of the video, looks like this.
This music video is everything one would assume a video for
“Baby Yellow (In a Dream)” could be while remaining entirely impossible for us to predict, gauge or turn away from at the same time. JHelix isn’t hiding anything from us here – he’s discussing his most internal thoughts and feelings in these shots, and as disturbing as some of them tend to be (despite containing nothing explicit at all whatsoever), they’re surreally relatable. Behind the wall of sleep lies another world we get to visit every now and again, and to the best of his ability, this artist summons characters from that world for the purposes of his latest music video.
For how airy the melodies are in this song, the percussion is a pummeling source of aggression at all times in “Baby Yellow (In a Dream).” Whether he wanted to add to the aforementioned juxtaposition or just get a little bit of aesthetical contrast into the mix for the heck of it, JHelix’s additional bombast on this front is probably what sealed the deal for me more than anything else. He isn’t afraid to try the risky moves, even when his contemporaries would just as soon do the exact opposite.
Fans of industrial pop prowess and experimentalism with an ear for conventional hooks needn’t look any further for a good time this summer – JHelix has you covered with “Baby Yellow (In a Dream).” There’s more than enough of pop in this piece to warrant some radio play in the discerning college market, and furthermore, I think it has the potential to expose a lot of new listeners to JHelix (some of whom might not have been interested in his work otherwise). He’s come a long way in the last decade, and this is a tremendous measurement of his evolution.