Taylor Colson has a lot of pain she’s reflecting on in the new single “Hurt Me,” but it isn’t the sort of pain that stops someone dead in their tracks. Here, Colson isn’t scared about opening up to her audience, nor does she take on the persona of an artist who feels nothing but detriment from the decadence of their love and lust for life. Instead, she’s breaking down her emotions through fair-minded lyrical statements that translate to perfect pop poetry in this melodic environment, and that’s more than I can say for her mainstream contemporaries this summer for certain.
The heaviness of the vocal in this mix is definitely on the indulgent side, but if I’m to be perfectly honest, I think it was very necessary. There’s not a lot of excess in the percussive parts here, but the beat is so important to understanding the intensity of the narrative and, more specifically, the urgency of our storyteller’s words. She’s letting her hair down from a sonic point of view, and that sort of attitude is exactly what I haven’t been able to find when browsing major label-backed pop singles in the last couple of years.
For me personally, there’s nothing worse in this genre than a bassline that doesn’t give some foundation to the drumbeat, but issues like this one just don’t come up in “Hurt Me;” they’re left on the sidelines altogether. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into making this single as different from the standard issue sound in Los Angeles and New York as possible without catering to the needs of an indie/college crowd exclusively, and somehow, what Colson actually got at the end of the day here is something that is more vocal jazz in essence than it is millennial pop/rock.
This track was mixed as to create a smoky nightclub-style environment for our singer to bask in, and without disrespecting the authenticity of the real thing, I think it couldn’t be anymore brilliant in this way. Every time that Colson sings a verse, there’s just enough reverb here to make it feel as though we’re alone in a tiny club with her, and she’s singing for our pleasure only. It’s sensuous and very unique for the style of melody she’s using as a vocalist, and I hope it’s something I’m going to be hearing even more of as she gets ready to cut a proper LP.
With music and lyrics that are equally spellbinding for a critic like myself, fans of dark retro pop should make a note of Taylor Colson and her new single “Hurt Me” this August, mostly because she’s about as one of a kind as they come. Pop hasn’t had a lot of rule-breaking artistes in a long time, and while this isn’t quite “Birthday” by The Sugarcubes, “Hurt Me” still refuses to fit into any box you try and stick it in. This isn’t for the genre-obsessed; if you ask me, Taylor Colson’s music is for the more refined audience in 2020.
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