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Scoville Unit’s “Reasons”

Playful percussion is looking for a melodic partner to dance with as we listen to Scoville Unit’s “Reasons,” but simple as these key elements in the song are, they’re entirely deceptive when it comes to giving us a preview of what lies on the horizon beyond the arrangement here. As the other instruments find their way into the fold, the casual strut of the beat becomes a little more forceful, creating a narrow but foundational line between each component of the ensuing harmony. Scoville Unit, who have been getting a lot of credit for their creativity, want us to feel every intricacy and develop some feelings for every textured melody they create in “Reasons,” and their extra effort in this recording was well worth it, to say the least.

The bass is one of the subtler instrumental parts in this track, but it isn’t missing from the big picture at all. There’s a lot of shape in this groove thanks to the bassline and the gentle coil it makes around the verses by the time we hit the two-minute mark in the song. By letting the bottom-end tonality wrap around the lyrics while guiding the beat, the voice it surrounds can stay swaggeringly relaxed and the drums are made all the more stable and consistent in the background. This is intellectually savvy alternative rock, and interestingly enough, it has a non-synthetic modern vibe that I wish I could hear more of in the pop underground these days.

This vocal, despite having one of the simplest parts any musician could have hoped to get in this kind of a release, is commanding and gets my heart racing every time it washes ashore from the sea of sleek melodicism in the track. A conservative dash of its affectionate drawl is all we needed for this recipe to turn into a real winner, and something tells me it would sound even more compelling in a live setting. “Reasons,” aside from being a very soothing listen no matter what time of day it is or what mood you happen to be in before giving it a spin, has the sensibilities of a live jam, and depending on how the next few months come together, I’d love to hear it performed in its proper venue before a crowd of equally intrigued fans.

Listening to “Reasons” makes me excited to see this combination of players get together to create music together again shortly, and it highlights the reason I think crossover rock has been getting so much love from the indie press this spring. While true to the classic compositional model for its genre, this single sports a harmony that could appeal to anyone who loves soft melodic ribbonry atop a clandestine rock beat. It’s aesthetically pleasing no matter what taste in music you happen to have, and even without knowing who the musicians behind its creation were, I think most listeners will be able to tell that “Reasons” was crafted by some of the best upstart players in their medium.

Mindy McCall



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