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Blind Difference’s “Alive” (Remix)

The remix for Blind Difference’s “Alive” starts with a beat, like many iconic pop singles, but what comes next is anything but conventional in nature. In this track, Blind Difference wants to establish herself as an outsider type in the pop genre, fusing elements and influences from jazz and R&B with a chamber-style insularity that hasn’t been very common in the mainstream for years, and yet here, it sounds quite refreshing and charming. This version of “Alive” might outdo its source material, which is hard to do in any remix, let alone one with the componentry this has.

There’s a lot of emphasis on physicality in this track, but it doesn’t come at the expense of the melodic foundation in the song. Blending the motoric with the austere has been common in a lot of indie pop over the past couple of years, but what Blind Difference is doing here feels just a bit more ambitious, as it encompasses anthemic qualities as well as something more minimalistic by design. This “Alive” has different sides to its personality, much like the artist who is responsible for creating it for our pleasure this summer.

This piano part has a lot of brawn to it, but it serves the brash beat quite well. There’s nothing about Blind Difference’s sound that feels particularly inorganic; instead, it’s obvious this is a player who is still evolving before our very ears, throwing the plaintive elements her rivals utilize to the sidelines without abandoning a sense of modernity in her material. It’s hard to balance trends with what comprises your personality outside of the recording studio, but this is an artist who doesn’t mind showing off her skills – even if it does happen to make some of her contemporaries a little jealous.

When it comes to the beat in “Alive,” it’s made to increase the vocal fluidity above all else, and rightly so. Blind Difference could have gone with something just a little more imposing out of the percussion, but her decision to let the drums drive her verses just as the harmonies that start with her own voice do reflects how much depth she has as a songwriter. This cannot be said for the scores of players she’s trying to match with on the charts, many of whom have been getting way too much attention for recycling surreal aesthetics in their recent output.

There are a lot of different directions Blind Difference is able to go in right now, but as long as she keeps the focus on her compositional development, she’s going to continue scoring points with critics like myself.

Her music embraces eclectic elements and eccentricities others just don’t know what to do with – but still manage to work into their sound nonetheless – and her confidence in using such attributes is reason enough to hear what she has to say here. This remix of “Alive” is a stunner of a single, and it’s unsurprisingly gaining steam as the season comes to a close and new experimental tracks drop ahead of fall.

Mindy McCall



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