As if a Swedish Grammi wasn’t enough. Do we remember that? Iamamiwhoami won Innovator of the Year at the 2011 award show and a lovely individual the fans dubbed “Key Lady” trotted on stage with her purse, let out a humorous thank you, and accepted an award for Yamimamiwhami (don’t get it? Click here to watch it unfold). Since then, the project has been nominated for MTV Digital Music and MTV O Awards and after being shafted by Lady Gaga and Kina Grannis, they’ve finally taken home another win! BBC Music 6 Blog Awards by The Recommender gave Iam the tongue in cheek award for “Best Tease Of The Past 12 Months”. While it’s not as prestigious as a Grammi, it’s certainly one well earned and to be ironically proud of.
But, we’re being spoiled now.
Keeping in line with the release of a new Chapter from their forthcoming album Kin every so often until the June 29th, 2012 release (you can read more information about it in our previous article), Iamamiwhoami uploaded “Drops” to their YouTube channel on February 28th and the next day enabled downloads on MP3 providers iTunes & Amazon. There’s also a lossless .wav version available from Juno Download in certain countries.
The “Drops” video follows along exactly where it’s predecessor “Sever” left off, but the song throws back to the densely mixed and driving, melodically repetitive tracks like “B” and “Y” off of the BOUNTY series. As a matter of fact, it even barrows whole note pad atmosphere from way back in the beginnings of the viral video campaign with “220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124155″ (YouTube).
However many drops we give to previous releases by Jonna & the crew, the Electronic track still stands on it’s own, especially lyrically. It’s one of the more abstract songs from the group, focusing on dissenting phrases and unrecoverable emotions. “Give up, let down, can’t believe what I found/Build up from ground, wipe clean of your frowns”. Commencing glimmers of self-rebirth also peak their heads in and out of the lines, which carry on the imaginative and independent ideals of the writing in “Sever”.
While the iTunes version of the track gives the lossy version a rating of 7 db on the TT Loudness Offline Meter, it’s vast atmosphere sounds a bit muddy compared to the last few releases we’ve seen from the group. In fact, we haven’t seen this sort of mud since “T”. The song is so soaked in reverb that we dare a listener to find a section of the song that doesn’t have a tiny bit of this effect on it, but compellingly enough there are only two instances where it becomes problematic. Frequencies seem to get into small arguments with each other when the high frequency distortion synth-bells chime in right after the three minute mark, but is more so probably a distortion effect rather than an issue left unresolved.
The reverb from the synth-bells seem to begin making a distorted pad in itself if you listen closely, as you can hear it trail off as Jonna sings the last line of the track. In regards to the ending of the track, we also like, once again, how far back Jonna’s supporting vocals are. It gives great depth and is a great listen since a lot of tracks seem to have the vocal assaulting the front of the mix for the entire song’s duration (this is seen in a lotof pop music, especially since the loudness wars started. But, more information on that on Dynamic Range Day, March 16th, 2012).
There’s also inklings of another high, extremely repetitive melody that comes in at the same time as the synth-bells and pans from the left and right channel. While it’s frequencies seem to be un-bothered by the bell melody, it does sometimes become buried by it, giving an interesting panning and automation effect.
The low-frequency emphasis on the song is nothing new as “Sever” featured the same sort of effect, only, as we stated in our review of that track, the equalization is some of he best we’ve heard in a while. “Drops” seems more of a supporting track on Kin and it’s evident by it containing the signature Iamami production, but without much of a build up. It instead, focuses more like a slowly progressive movement. It brings in synths, drops them out, but is much less focused on it compared to “Clump” where the song structure is so evident.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Burial were a part of this project? Yeah, don’t hold you breath. But, we really like that security-sound that plays throughout the track. Reminds us of the newly released “Kindred” EP (our review here) and “Four Walls” which the artist did with Massive Attack.
We also really like the part in the video at 4:16-4:19 where Jonna Lee quickly flashes a cocky “Yeah, I got this” face before returning it to an “Oh, shit…” look and those few seconds summarize this song best. Strong, triumphant, powerful, but wrapped in desolate vulnerability.
Track Rating: 3.9/5
Check out ForsakenOrder.com’s Video Analysis of “Drops”. Wonderful as always.