“Carousel (Ft. Olivia Nelson and Tokio Myers)” by Latir

It’s rare for a song to be as charged with romance as “Carousel” by Latir. Gentle twinkles of a lounge piano, brushes sliding quietly across a snare, and evocative chords make even the intro to this song unforgettable. The listener is doubtlessly clued in that the rest of the song will be overflowing with similarly masterful details.

The vocalist comes in, and there’s already so much to be said. His tone matches the accompaniment effortlessly, bathing the sound in light and warmth. The words sound almost as though they’re whispered directly into the listener’s ear. Phrases are edited differently, some sounding clear and others sounding covered, but all are doused in copious amounts of reverb and echo. The melody rises and falls in all the right places, with splashes of embellishment and melisma showcasing the singer’s prowess.

The chorus introduces a stack of octaves chiming, “Here’s to holding you for a moment.” This intimate atmosphere prevails throughout the section. It finally plateaus with a tangle of high-pitched spoken words, adding yet another layer of interest to the piece. The second verse kicks off with a female vocalist. The lyrics take on a whole new meaning now, as she returns the advances made by the male singer in the first verse. Not to mention, it’s nice to hear the chorus with a brighter, higher timbre. It provides enough of a change that the song stays interesting without needing a whole new section.

As soon as the singer utters the last few words, the tempo slows. This time, the chorus can be heard in the background pitched down, almost like a chop-and-screw of the original. There’s a beautiful juxtaposition here between the pitched-up vocals from earlier, supplying the balance and closure perfect for the end of a well-rounded masterpiece.

Written by Alyce Lindberg





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