In one fell swoop, Ron Brunk bottles all of his emotions into a singular vocal that initiates the tone of “Tub of Love,” his latest single due out this July everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed. With this verse, he opens the floodgates on a wall of sound that will bear down on us like a stampeding band of horses and subsequently chase us toward the horizon in just under a few minutes of sterling sonic production.
The rhythm is simplistic, and the piano keys are full of moderate patience, but there’s a supple, understated groove in the lead vocal that keeps us glued to our stereos, literally waiting for whatever croon-based warmth is going to come our way next.
As we get into the verses, we find a little bounce in the beats that keeps us from being completely magnetized by the gentle cadence of the keys. The components are dueling for our attention whilst Brunk finds his stride in the first stanza, and there’s an anxiousness in the juxtaposition between the two that is fascinating and hard to turn away from. We keep waiting for the tension to come undone, but even as the chorus swings into focus, there’s no relief in sight until Ron Brunk catches up with the hook and levels the playing field with his serenade. I might have mixed the piano just a tad lower than what he ultimately decided to go with, but the physical structure of the song is engrossing regardless.
The chorus, strangely, has less fluidity to its finish than the lines that precede it do, but that’s partly what makes the slow-releasing catharsis all the more stately in tone. The refrain backs away from the tempo of the hook that it descends from, but the energy never dissipates for a second. For a song that doesn’t even last a little over three minutes in total length, “Tub of Love” feels deceptively long and drawn-out, and not in a negative way. It’s easy to lose yourself in its endless kinship of harmony, and repeat listens are something that you should expect once you’ve given the chorus enough time to implant itself in your head. Rather than fading to black, “Tub of Love” seems to come to a sudden stop that leaves our hearts pounding so feverishly that the desire to keep the party going often proves too strong to resist.
There’s a lot to be said about what Ron Brunk has designed in his latest release, one of three out this month, and hardcore music enthusiasts could spend a decent amount of time picking apart its every intricacy in search of a deeper lyrical meaning. Personally, though, I’ll take it for the sweet pop songcraft that it is at its barebones. There aren’t enough pop singers putting as much stock into the texture of their music as Ron Brunk is here, but if this is to become a trend in his scene, I’m fairly certain that the next few years in indie singer/songwriter news are going to be some of the most engaging that we’ve heard since the early ‘10s.
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