In the music video for his new single “Our Love is Beautiful,” singer and songwriter Ethan Gold reminds us of our human continuity, and moreover, how strongly it still binds us even in times of great distance and difference. There isn’t any synthetic overlay to the harmony in “Our Love is Beautiful,” nor does the imagery in the video allude to some underlying electronic component that we aren’t fully aware of in the mix. This is Ethan Gold being as barebones as he can be, and it’s ironically one of the most decadent performances I’ve heard from him.
Aside from the video’s worldly charm, the actual music in “Our Love is Beautiful” is structural pop perfection. The hook is always the centerpiece, and as much as the lyrics and vocal contribute to the overall upbeat mood of the melody, so does the instrumentation – and even black and white elements like the percussion and the very levels in the mix. Gold is determined to use every inch of the studio as a tool – much as he’s done with his past records, including experimental outings – but by staying away from compositional excess, he creates a very interesting juxtaposition of themes here to put it mildly.
The strings in the track make an incredible counterpart to the vocal’s feathery presentation by adding another bastion of warmth to the music that would otherwise be represented by the lyrics exclusively. The harmony is what makes these verses feel as vital as they do, and to some extent, I don’t know that the song would be nearly as enticing – nor as listenable – were someone else at the helm instead of Ethan Gold. He’s got a trademark sound, and even with his reputation as an artistic wildcard, he isn’t getting away from the tones that made his most loyal fans interested in him to begin with.
There’s nothing particularly jagged or uneven within the master mix, and in its totality I think “Our Love is Beautiful” is a good example of what happens when an artist designs a piece of work more around a lyrical concept than they do a specific rhythm or chord structure. I don’t know for sure, but if I had to guess, these words are what ultimately inspired the harmony here. The kinship between the two is just too impenetrable to be ignored, and from my perspective, it makes for the brightest fireworks here.
Once again, Ethan Gold proves himself to be among the most elite and innovative players in his peer group not because of sonic brawn but because of compositional moxie – the best of which, mind you, seems to come when he’s producing in a cut and dry style. “Our Love is Beautiful” is painfully simple when you break it down by the numbers, but it never feels like a minimalist effort no matter how many times you’ve listened to it. That takes a great amount of skill as a musician, and in this case, Gold makes it look and sound too easy.
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