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Tamas Bulla’s “Shower Thoughts”

Relaxed and yet driven by a sense of urgency brilliantly complemented by the cadence of our leading man’s verse, the beat in “Shower Thoughts,” the brand new single and music video from the underground’s own Tamas Bulla, is a mood-defining element if there ever was one (which certainly isn’t common among indie pop music nowadays). When coupled with the melodic fabric of this emotional ballad, Bulla winds up producing a mild tour de force you simply have to hear for yourself to fully understand this autumn. Friendly to casual listeners and more serious alternative pop/rock fans alike, “Shower Thoughts” is, simply put, hybrid pop music without the pretentiousness of an increasingly out-of-touch pop model. 

The percussion isn’t the only element responsible for constructing the intoxicating little groove found in this single and its stately music video; contrarily, the strings and the subtle bassline in the background contribute just as much to the swing in “Shower Thoughts,” forcing our attention across the whole of the mix instead of focusing us towards one component above them all. Every aspect of this track is notably cerebral, yet never excessive in their distribution of postmodern influences. 

Bulla’s vocal is painfully bittersweet in this song, and to a large extent, the tone of his singing reflects the evocative substance of the lyricism in a way that no other crooner could have facilitated. For those who have heard his music before, “Shower Thoughts” stings in a fashion that is so unmistakably Tamas Bulla that had another vocalist tried to produce this single, I don’t believe it would have been nearly as affective as it is in this present state. This artist has a signature sound, and if that wasn’t clear beforehand, it definitely will be now. 

I would have liked a little less aggression with regards to the stylization of the more forceful parts in this track if only to clear a little more space between the audience and the harmony this artist melds into the instrumentation rather seamlessly. The music video has virtually the same mix as the single, and in both instances, the vocal is the most inviting element for us to absorb, and were it not as weighed down by the thrust of the strings – especially in the hook behind the chorus – I think “Shower Thoughts” could have been just a touch more enthralling than it already is (not that it necessarily needed this extra kick to be a hit with fans). 

If what I’m hearing and seeing in the new music video for Tamas Bulla’s “Shower Thoughts” is a fair example of what his next work is going to be primarily comprised of, there should be no doubt among audiences that we’re about to hear the best of this singer/songwriter’s career so far at the start of 2023. Bulla is bringing an increased spotlight to the pop underground via this latest cut in a year that has been all about American singer/songwriters of a more hipster-influenced sensibility, and for this, he deserves a resounding round of praise. 

Mindy McCall

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