2020 has been good to Glorybots so far. His sophomore album, Invisible, struck gold with plenty of stateside critics, his profile has been elevated along the west coast and his music has never sounded as sharp as it does in his latest single, “Radiate,” which was already one of my favorite songs from the tracklist of his second studio LP. Accompanied by a music video that feels on par with everything he’s released in his career thus far, “Radiate” is the next step in a road to stardom for Glorybots, who reps the Seattle scene with pride in this stylish new recording.
The music video has a rather artsy design that should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following its creator in the last couple of years, and while it’s left-field without question, it’s not extremely inaccessible to mainstream viewers by any means. The focus, as is always the case with players on this level, is kept on the sonic backdrop driving home the visual narrative as much as it is the lyrical concept, with imagery only taking the components of the story and elaborating on them just enough to give us a little more surrealism in the grander scheme of things.
Glorybots installs a percussive element in “Radiate” that could well be radioactive – it’s downright abusive to the other instrumental parts in a few key spots here, but I will say that I like what it contributes to the track overall. With its bones being rooted more in the pop music playbook than the rock n’ roll ethos its cosmetic make up follows, this single benefits from every bit of grime it’s adorned with, and ultimately features more artistic duality because of this very reason (something I could only hope to say for some of the other musicians I’m reviewing this month).
With regards to the production style, both the single and its music video have top-notch finishing that somehow remains adherent to the underground concepts that gave birth to the Glorybots sound more than it does any mainstream influences at all whatsoever. For this songwriter, and his scene overall, there’s no tolerance for the fluffy studio filler that flies just fine among some of the noisier acts in the Los Angeles and San Francisco undergrounds; truth be told, including it would be grounds for being expelled from the community and its storied arts culture.
I’ve been a fan for a couple of years now, and if you want to know the reason why critics like myself can’t get enough of Glorybots in 2020, you’d do well to give “Radiate” a listen as soon as possible. Here, he proves that he definitely doesn’t need any major label money to make a high-power single and music video as he sees fit, and in an age that has been reluctant to call itself anything other than musician-controlled, it says a lot about just how grand a set of dreams and ambitions he really has in his career.
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