“Internal Battles” by Sunday Hunter

“Internal Battles” by Sunday Hunter is a foray into retro electronic production. The old-school synths and the record-scratch vocal editing give this piece a familiar sound–however, the form is just irregular enough to make it insurgent. Filled with pitched vocals, and bright, metrical rapping, “Internal Battles” will surprise you at every turn.

The intro takes up a good thirty-six seconds of the song, so there’s a lot going on already. Vocal samples echo and pulse alongside a high-pitched, distant mallet. A buzz-saw synth plays a catchy yet minor riff. It actually has all of the harmonic trappings of a modern trap song, but as soon as the vocals enter, the energy changes to something more like The Black Eyed Peas.

The rap section employs some lowered doubling at the end of certain phrases, emphasizing not only the word but the beat. A transitional vocoder leads into a sung section. The singer chimes, “One day I’m feeling old, and the next day new,” giving light to the lyrical themes–a struggle with identity, sense of self, and self-worth. Even so, the musical trajectory of the song remains upbeat as the melody hops rapidly from one note to another.

The riff from the intro returns, giving the listener a pleasant motif to hold on to. The vocalist sings a grooving melody over this part, then devolves back into another rap verse, this time with electronically lowered pitch. A lot of production tricks make this verse an entrancing listen, but the continuous altering of the pitch really draws your ear to different registers.

The bridge and outro give the listener a slightly more intensified version of what they’ve already heard: louder, deeper, gritter synths, ample vocal delay, catchy melodies, and several more repetitions of the song title. Overall, the song is a rollercoaster ride in the best way possible. The listener has their choice of sounds and effects to grasp onto. Every new listen will reveal something new and interesting.

Written by Alyce Lindberg





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