Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
When an artist delves into the world of experimental tones and scales, the complexity of the method usually asserts itself as the only focal point of the project. Though using abnormal chords and scales is daring and different, it is fairly difficult to ensure the project isn't stifled by their usage.
On Bubble, Sevish holds in one hand a mastery and interest in utilising these strange tunings, and in the other a deft ability to ingratiate them into popular and agreeable styles. The music Sevish presents is as slick as any project using standard tunings and scales, but here we find a unique sheen to everything as the inventive tones augment the tracks and engage the listener.
You Tell Me lays beautifully sun-kissed synth bells on top of a hazy landscape. The bassline bubbles and groans like something you'd expect from a Peshay mix. The track uses a tuning based on whole number ratios of frequency, framed through Kraig Grady's 12-tone 7-limit scale. And while this innovative methodology makes for a distinct listening experience, it is the way Sevish still manages to create a genuinely endearing song with it that is so impressive. The floor of the track glistens with these abnormal combinations of notes and chords. You are not just listening to a seldom heard method of tuning and composition, you are enjoying a fantastic song that is undeniably catchy that happens to bend and distort the cadences we are used to hearing.
Sevish moves fluidly through a number of styles, the microtonal nature of the music forming a master key the producer uses to unlock doors that would otherwise be locked shut. Fuschiamarine is iridescent in its unwillingness to conform to one sound. Jungle strings provide a sense of depth, upon which the artist floats teetering siren melodies. Before long we have traversed past this expansive space and are moving along rails through fast-paced percussion and thick bass. Misty bells meet with trilling flutes, and the tuning makes it feel like we're speeding through the pitch black, unable to guess what will happen next.
This same feeling of teetering, mirage-like sound comes on Dream Up. Beautiful blooming sounds fall past us, dopplering as they glide through the cool blue air. Sevish reaps an astounding amount of value from the microtonal sound.
At points, the melodies of Bubble sound like nothing else. But it is the penchant and ability to place these incredible melodies in engaging and accessible percussive styles that make this album a joy to listen to.