Sparkling but not overly saturated in pop polish, the keys we discover within Greyson Chance’s new single “My Dying Spirit” arguably have as much of a story to tell as our vocalist does – through a slightly different channel of communication, of course. Though there have been a lot of surreal songs making their way into the headlines over the last few months, “My Dying Spirit” is a straightforward shot of life from a powerful new pop source that has a handle on how to make powerful melodies. He’s going full-throttle here and inviting anyone within earshot along for the ride.
The piano parts swell in the mix as we get deeper into the song, but the shift in the spotlight from the percussion to the vocal to the strings isn’t as abrasive as it could have been. By employing an evenhanded approach to the hook in this track, Greyson Chance can circumvent a lot of the pitfalls that come with extending the catharsis in a chorus as much as he does here. He is not one of the amateurs by any critical measurement, and any notion that he was is crushed beyond a reasonable doubt inside of this single’s opening sixty seconds.
While I think the vocals are more of a foundational element here than they are central to the underlying narrative, I don’t think they’re conveying throwaway lyrics to us at all – the opposite, in all honesty. In “My Dying Spirit,” Chance is using the verses as a means of framing the instrumental thrust originating with the drums and bassline, and in doing so, he can create a far more physical sound than he would have going another route. There’s a method to every player’s madness; it just so happens that this artist’s is a little easier for the common listener to decipher than the status quo would typically call for.
I detect a strong chamber pop influence in the chorus of “My Dying Spirit,” but I do think that this track is a heck of a lot sharper than anything emerging from the contemporary underground scene for that genre at the moment. Indie acts have always taken a tempered approach to the minimalist model, but Chance isn’t following a specific blueprint in this track – he’s melding as much of a rock framework into this music as he is anything in the neo-pop lexicon. This artist doesn’t want to be pigeonholed, but he was also wise to stay away from anything super-experimental in this new release.
Although his isn’t the easiest sound to categorize using conventional genre terminology, Greyson Chance is undisputedly onto something good with the release of “My Dying Spirit.” If he can keep producing content with as much of an edge as this latest cut possesses, he’s going to enjoy a lot more praise from the underground press than some of his peers have in recent outings. It’s a competitive time for indie musicians, but with these chops, Chance is almost certainly a player that you should expect to hear a lot more of in the years to come.
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