With so much chaos in the world right now, finding creative ways to unwind can be a challenging task all by itself unless, of course, you have a soundtrack like Sp8ce Owl’s “Miami 1987 (Earth 246)” to assist you. Sp8ce Owl has been getting a lot of the press’s affection largely because of the outside-the-box approach they take to their simplest of melodies, and in some regards, this track is following the same artistic formula as its predecessors. What sets “Miami 1987 (Earth 246)” apart is its almost novel use of synthwave and vaporwave influences to construct a central harmony, of which we’re able to draw a narrative together without hearing a single lyric.
There’s a chill energy to every part of this song, from the percussion to the melodic faceting giving us the allusion of chords, notes, and even strings gliding together and synthetically attaching to a singular theme. It’s dreamlike in a lot of ways, but I don’t think I would necessarily describe “Miami 1987 (Earth 246)” as druggy, primarily because of how focused all of the detail in its construction happens to be. This isn’t something that was thrown together, but instead a piece that has been meticulously formed under the command of an intelligent composer and arranger.
The music video for “Miami 1987 (Earth 246)” treads cyberpunk territory, and it makes liberal use of a postmodern visual concept that feels almost transcendent of the soundtrack we’re hearing in this release. Unlike some of the crazier avant-electro works I’ve listened to on the cloud and occasionally stumbling across on YouTube, this doesn’t have an indulgent implied theme beyond the emotional release being encouraged by the pacing of the music. This is truly a single that is all about catharsis, and Sp8ce Owl is using everything at their disposal to make that cathartic undoing all the more tangible to the audience.
You can’t get away from the heady vaporwave influence over the melodicism of “Miami 1987 (Earth 246),” and once again I think this proves that the aesthetic remains one of the more important elements of an independent art movement to have come out of the woodwork in the past ten years. This goes beyond the surrealism of the art-pop community as it’s been growing into its own in the American underground over the past half-decade; Sp8ce Owl wants to make mush into melodic gold, and somehow – either through sophistication or creative insanity – they’re doing just that with this track.
“Miami 1987 (Earth 246)” is a great song to unwind to from an artist that continues to perplex the masses with their enigmatic identity, but if we’re to measure this player off of their abilities in this single alone, I have to say that Sp8ce Owl is one of the best in their scene these days. Instrumental works are getting a lot of steam on both ends of the industry right now, but this is something that feels so much more psychologically stimulating than the majority of pop listens I run into in this job. Sp8ce Owl earns their accolades, and this is a release that proves it.
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