Stepping out of a dream with a vocal harmony that seems almost unreal in the first couple of bars here, Voyce Butler clearly isn’t playing around when he starts to sing in his new single “Stay,” currently out everywhere quality indie R&B is found this spring. He’s got too much passion pushing his words together, too much of that special raw emotion that tethers a true artist to their medium for anything fake to come between his message and melody-lovers in this track, and although this isn’t the first occasion on which he’s shown me what he can do as a singer, it could be his sharpest performance of the new decade thus far. 2021 is no time for slacking, and if anyone is keeping the pace with his peers right now, it’s this man.
For the most part, there’s scarcely a moment in which the pillows of pulsating bass and synth-born harmonies in the backdrop have a big impact on the flow of Butler’s lyrics, but that doesn’t stop them from having an effect on how his words come across to us. There’s something really soft about the melody steadily ascending towards the spotlight in this piece, but it never comes into focus enough for us to truly and completely appreciate the balance it has to offer the vocal. This seems deliberate primarily because of how well all of the implied instrumental analogies fit in with the subject matter in the verses, which makes for a more full-bodied listening experience at any rate.
Obviously the best element in any R&B performance should be the vocal, and in this sense Voyce Butler’s “Stay” isn’t that much of an alternative to the genre’s establishment this March. What makes this single a standout is the way its singer integrates story with songcraft when we’re least expecting him too, using the very rhythm of his words to thrust us into his arms and away from the unsheltered shivers of a lonely world. He reaches out to us through the speakers and makes his passions a comforting component we can accept with or without taking in the hook, and in pop music, that’s one of the more sophisticated techniques any performer can bring into their toolbox when creating new material.
There’s a lot that I want to know about Voyce Butler’s ambitions still, but if there were any critics who weren’t certain about his legitimacy in the R&B genre this year, “Stay” is going to convince them that he is as real an artist as we could have hoped to find in 2021. He’s got the experience and the natural chops to do a lot of things artists in the underground can only dream of getting done on their own nowadays, but more important than this, he’s got the humble attitude to really convey a statement to his listeners that isn’t the easiest to get across regardless of how talented a player you might be. Butler is staying on my radar, and the bottom line is that he should be on yours as well.
The music of Voyce Butler has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com
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