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Bryce Avary’s The Rocket Summer Release “M4U”

Bryce Avary’s project The Rocket Summer is a long-established musical force. His eclectic musical vision crosses genre borders and utilizes a panoply of sounds unmatched by virtually every contemporary and peer. His new single “M4U” is the self-proclaimed defining track of his new album Shadowkasters and continues challenging listeners’ expectations as never before. The single gains immeasurable impact from its pairing with a music video that’s nothing less than a visual extravaganza for the eyes. Avary’s songwriting already possesses intense cinematic attributes, a rarity for any style of music, and his promotional clip for “M4U” accentuates those strengths.   It might be said that a track that feels longer than its actual duration isn’t a success. However, it isn’t the case with this song.

“M4U” runs a little less than three and a half minutes long and yet packs enough musical firepower for a full album into that limited running time. He explores a gamut of sound, percussion, keyboards, bass, acoustic guitar and more, that synthesizes into a multi-layered tapestry of sound. It’s breathtaking to realize that Avary is responsible for the composition, production, mixing, and mastering of the track – as well as playing all the instruments. It’s a virtuosic one-man show set to dazzle from the outset. It never exhausts the listener and surges with undeniable ambition.  

His vocals embody the yearning of the song’s lyrics. It’s a song bordering on near obsession, but his obvious affection for the song’s subject doesn’t sound creepy. “M4U” pulses with near-palpable ardor, almost breathless, and Avary convinces us from the first that his love commands the highest stakes for him. He approaches his performance as a matter of life and death, rather than an entertaining throwaway.   Strip the daring away, however, pull everything down to its essentials, and you hear Avary’s grasp of songwriting fundamentals shine through. Where he breaks away from the mundane is a matter of presentation.

“M4U” is, ultimately, a love song filtered through an intensely idiosyncratic imagination and brokers no compromise with its delivery. Its message comes through despite the fragmentary nature of its words. The shadow of potential heartbreak even nibbles around the song’s furthest reaches as he concludes the track with the foreboding lines, “You don’t/Do you want me back?”  

Mindy McCall  



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