A while ago, quietly understated love songs slowly drifted out of mainstream pop, leaving listeners a choice between hyperbolic declarations of desire and angst-ridden send-offs. As great and memorable as some of those tracks have been, The Kid and I’s latest single, “Hey,” approaches a different facet of love—gentle wonder.
Jacob Powell’s understated, but softly emotive vocals and shimmering, dreamlike accompaniment create a perfect backdrop for his amorous confession. The watery guitar chords and melodic vocalizations place listeners into the same hazy mood as Powell himself as he explains, “bubblegum ain’t half as sweet as the girl that’s walking down my street.” Like the music, the lyrics refrain from overwrought, or overly tangled metaphors. The sparse overdubs and simple mixing keep the focus on Powell’s artistic message.
Jennifer Glatzhofer provides the response to Powell’s call with a similarly reserved tone that is nonetheless filled with interesting inflection and shows an impressive vocal range. Both singers exercise the power of “less is more” by relating their characters’ feelings in clean but expressive voices. With Powell adding another odd-but-fitting wrinkle in the form of a fuzzy filtered guitar solo, the song prepares itself for its quiet crescendo, which consists of him and Glatzhofer trading and harmonizing the chorus in a few different forms.
“Hey” is one of the more quirky and oblique love songs of recent memory, but for all of its strange twists and turns, the end result is a very unique pop song that works on many levels. Some might think of it as an old-fashioned duet, while others would consider it to be closer to a piece of experimental art. Musically, a new layer reveals itself with each listen. And audiences would be advised to give the tune a few spins, because The Kid and I cover a lot of ground in just three minutes. Far different from “White Feather,” but a bit more dynamic, “Hey” shows a lot of promise from The Kid and I as well as the Powell-Glatzhofer combo.
Written by Willie Witten