“It’s easy to stone me for the things I’ve done…” croons a supple-voiced Susan Calloway in the opening lyric of her new single “Favorite Scar,” but despite the dark tone of her words, there’s a fleeting optimism escaping from the harmony she’s starting to construct all too enticing for those of us who like powerful pop balladry to resist. Using incredibly poetry and some potent lead vocals that anyone who has heard her work before will be very excited to hear once more, Calloway unleashes a hurricane of a song in this latest release that I would highly recommend taking a peek at this October.
There’s an achingly hesitant feel to the chorus in this single that really attracted me to the lyrics right out of the gate when I first sat down with “Favorite Scar” just this past weekend. Although she’s very confident in her execution from behind the mic overall, I think there’s definitely a bit of deliberate conservatism on the part of Calloway in this performance, if for no other reason than to highlight different elements from within her artistry that we might just as soon ignored in a more streamlined, full-color pop single.
The style of the instrumentation in “Favorite Scar” is similarly intimate from top to bottom, and thanks to the tightness of this master mix, there’s scarcely a moment in which we’re fighting through fuzz to uncover the majestic textures that a specific component has to contribute. Susan Calloway is definitely proving herself to be quite the detail-oriented artist in this single, and despite a lot of her peers embracing much of the same concept in their own output, I’ve yet to hear many players who have both the compositional wit and the melodic depth that this singer/songwriter has in most every instance.
I don’t think you’d have a hard time marketing this track to rock fans as easily as you could the traditional pop audience due to the aggressive nature of the harmony as the music comes barreling out of the speakers midway through the song. In “Favorite Scar,” there’s a delicate dance that takes place in which Calloway is the featured star, straddling the line between rock and pop with a precision that deserves some applause all by itself. She’s a versatile performer, and if that wasn’t obvious before this release, it will be in the wake of its independent success.
We already knew Susan Calloway was a virtuosic singer – if you’ve caught a glimpse at the soundtrack of Final Fantasy XIV, you’re aware that her pipes are something to really marvel at – but in “Favorite Scar,” she gets more poetic with her audience than she ever has before now. There’s still a lot that we have to learn about her artistic direction as it stands in 2020, but if there’s anything to be taken away from what she does for the fans here, it’s that she isn’t about to back down from an ambitious concept just because it ventures off the charted path.
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