Although entirely synthetic in tone, the percussion in the new single “Strangers” from RM47 is undeniably one of the lustier components of the track’s bottom-end, and precisely the kind of contrasting element the lead vocal needs to sound profoundly melodic. There’s a lot of juxtaposition to behold in “Strangers;” from the alternative pop groove to the suggested R&B harmonies that never quite find their full-bodied state, we’re constantly navigating a sonic minefield in this single seemingly constructed to confuse and perplex those who prefer streamlined varieties of music. Conventionality isn’t a part of this act’s equation, and their daringness is one of the main reasons I like this song as much as I do.
RM47 doesn’t mind getting after a mathy beat, but without the fragility of this lead vocal, I don’t know that the rhythm here would be quite as sexy as it is. There’s so much to the unfeeling coldness of the backdrop, and yet when this singer starts to purr it’s as though there’s a war on for our focus, with the only true victor being a slightly overwhelmed listener. Is all of the interplay between the percussion and this crooner necessary? Of course not, but the friction it does yield is exciting.
I love the grainy, implied DIY nature of the music video for “Strangers,” and while it touches on some of the more rebellious elements of indie visualizers, it never strays away from the mainstream-quality look a video of this style needs to win favor with fans outside of the insular underground. There’s no debating whether or not RM47 is aiming higher than a lot of their peers, but rather than selling out the aesthetics of their artistry with a familiar hook, they’re simply fine-tuning the cosmetic aspects of this release to make their edgy sound accessible for all.
This harmony is far and away the most erotic element of the track, and although it’s just beyond our reach in the mix I think that it has to be for us to really understand the yearning within this narrative. The song we’re listening to in “Strangers” has less to do with getting satisfaction as it does the pursuit of it, and you don’t have to read between the lines of these lyrics too much to gather that from the statements made in both the imagery of the video as well as the rhythm of the music on its own.
I had not been listening to RM47 before just recently, but this is the sort of release that is likely to get them onto the radars of numerous critics and influential music fans across the international spectrum – not necessarily because of its flash, but because of a substance in its creation that has been missing from a previously exciting alternative R&B circuit. This is one of the more radio-friendly songs of its kind to come to my attention this June, and I would like to hear a few more like it under the RM47 banner soon.
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