Affording every verse a bit of humanity we wouldn’t get from any other singer but him, Chris Beer introduces us to a lyrical masterpiece in his new single “Nothing Like” that is almost guaranteed to get a reaction out of you this autumn. Elegantly arranged but not devoid of a certain rusticity that comes with leaving a lot of sonic frills on the sidelines, “Nothing Like” depicts bittersweet pop songcraft through a uniquely experimental lens, and whether you’re keen on contemporary alternative music or not, it’s a listen I would recommend to anyone who loves smart melodies this October.
The music video for “Nothing Like” feels exceptionally provocative thanks to a deliberately disjointed shot scheme that pieces lyrical imagery together with artsy visuals in a perfect marriage of elements. It’s at once completely removed from the conventional pop videos you’d see online these days and indebted to the simplistic, avant-garde-minded surrealism we’re starting to see and hear more and more of out of the American underground at the moment. To put it simply, it’s obvious that Beer has an interest in highbrow conceptualism, but it’s how he’s going about exploring this interest that captured my focus in this release.
Chris Beer tells us in a particularly enrapturing string of verses; “All of us in love with the fantasy of living in a circus / Spinning round and round in circles unable to rest / Move the anchor point to the center / Great pretender,” and I think it was this segue into the ultimate climax of the track that left me really captivated by his lyricism. He’s ready to bear the truth to us, even if it means getting exposed to whatever pain he’s running from, and his courage is rather empowering through the framework the instrumentation provides him here.
The percussion behind the melodic componentry in this single has an important part to play in giving the progression from one stanza to the next a certain ominousness that wouldn’t have been in the fold without some panache on the drums, but it never takes away from the dominant feel of the lead vocal. Beer isn’t crushing us with his voice, or even having to compete much with the foundations of this track – his personality is spellbinding, and “Nothing Like” demonstrates that it would be as powerful at a whisper as it would be a roar.
A multilayered piece that actually takes a couple of dedicated sit-downs to fully appreciate, Chris Beer’s “Nothing Like” is a single and music video combo that has been on my mind for the last month or so. Beer is sharp in all the right spots and ready to take his sound to a deeper, riskier plain of the alternative spectrum, and in this performance, I think he proves himself uninterested in joining forces with any movement in the underground today. He’s cultivating something too personal to be classified within the context of a group, and that’s evident in this bold and profoundly introspective song.
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