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“Slow Up” by Noshows

Its role is nowhere near as prominent in the master mix as that of the vocal, but the instrumental parts we encounter in “Slow Up” can be credited as some of the brighter pop elements in the song. While there isn’t a straightforward bubblegum beat behind the strings, the synthetic edge here creates the kind of stability that I expect out of a radio-ready single, save for Noshows’s rather buoyant approach to harmonies with Aud leading at the microphone. They came intending to wow in this performance, and to me, they hit the mark without a lot of serious effort. Theirs is a naturally smooth sound, and when put to the right arrangement, it produces some incredible results like “Slow Up.”  

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/noshows/  

Aud’s focused and sharp lead vocal is the central linchpin in this track, but its placement isn’t overstated here at all. If anything, I think that this vocalist is trying to be a little more conservative than necessary if for no other reason than to object to an imbalance in the structure of the song. I get the impression that this is a band that cares a lot about achieving some sense of symmetry when they’re composing new music, and were this not the case I don’t believe that they would be introducing their sound to us with as evenhanded a performance as we find in “Slow Up.” It’s a statement single, and one that sets the tone for what I’m expecting to hear from the project next.  

This is one of the sturdiest beats I’ve heard in a pop single so far this summer, and it’s driven far more by the vocal execution than it is by the percussion. The drums are doing plenty of heavy lifting, but it’s this vocalist who is ultimately responsible for shaping the catchy groove we find in the chorus – which is by far my favorite moment in the song. Noshows have a specific vision in mind for their music, and I think this is pretty obvious when going over the details within “Slow Up,” particularly when contrasting its tonal and lyrical presence with the content that some of this group’s more aimless peers. It’s a significant difference, and I won’t be the last to tell you as much.

“Slow Up” plays like an artsy R&B crossover that it’s okay to get swept away by, which is not true with a lot of similar music, and I think it’s going to be the beginning of an incredible focus from the mainstream press on what Noshows are doing at the moment. The New York underground is by far the most incendiary and provocative music scene on the planet in 2023, and this band undisputedly highlights why it’s considered such a hot spot for new and developing talent. This might be the first time that I’m getting into the music this group is recording, but it’s hard for me to believe that “Slow Up” is going to be their last hit to go over well with critics and fans the same.

Mindy McCall    



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