Nothing beats a warm vocal melody on a chilly autumn day, and this November, Final Draft are serving up exactly that in their new single and music video “Started.” Released just this past October, “Started” seems perfectly crafted for the fall season, with the core of its aesthetic creating an incendiary soulfulness through a combination of rhythm and rhymes few R&B groups have concocted in 2020. Resisting the commerciality of their mainstream contemporaries and instead digging into cerebral melodicism at its most erotic, Final Draft drop one of their most well-rounded singles so far here – and it’s got my full-attention at the moment without question.
One of the best things this trio has going for it is the chemistry between its three players. From the moment they start trading verses back and forth in “Started,” there’s never an instance in which it seems like they’re vying for the majority of the spotlight; instead, they’re playing off of each other and bringing out the best in the material they’ve been presented with here. It’s a selfless song, and moreover, a brilliant demonstration of the kinship they share when they’re inside of the studio together making incredible new music.
I really love the indulgent tonal presence of the bass, and were it not given as much oomph behind the board as it was on this occasion, I’m not convinced that “Started” would feel like the same song that it does here. There’s so much moxie afforded to the chorus through the grinding of the bassline into the percussion, and if you were to remove that component from the mix it could potentially wreck the relationship between all three vocalists and the beat in the background. This has been exquisitely layered, and you don’t need any training to recognize that in a single listen.
I didn’t really know about Final Draft before I got into them this November, but if “Started” is a decent example of what their music consists of, they’re going to have a long career ahead of them for sure. R&B is one of the most important genres in the western pop lexicon at the moment, and through its storied underground a series of new wave artists are breaking through to the mainstream with creative ideas beyond the limits of their forerunners. Final Draft have the right idea with this song, and hopefully it won’t be the last of its kind that they release together.
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