You won’t hear a deeper grove than “Wake Up” by the Slacksons. Awash with synths, horns, dazzling vocal effects, and crunchy guitars, this track layers meticulously chosen textures over a continuously funky drum beat. Not to mention, the vocals inject this piece with a spacy etherealness, giving the rather straight-ahead, R&B accompaniment an experimental nature.
From the start, that ever-present percussion lays down the foundation for the rhythm. Not too long afterward, a gymnastic bass line joins in, giving the song some tonality. The singer utters, “I hear you / You’re calling my name,” covered in echo, reverb, chorus, and octaves. Horns ornament the phrase with a tasteful melody. As the verse continues, the most noticeable effect is the echo–which drones on with this long, almost non-existent cut-off. It makes you feel like you’re listening to the song in a huge hall, or maybe a long tunnel. The dreamy nature of the vocals complements the tight instrumentation well, letting it breathe and carry out its delicate busyness.
Other entrancing facets of this song include a lively call-and-response section–complete with soulful female background vocals and a catchy lead–and an organ/guitar solo that brings everything to a close. The outro in particular really brings out the bluesy, jam-band features of the track through its use of the pentatonic scale, copious double-stops, and a hoard of distortion.
Be sure to give The Slacksons a listen! “Wake Up” has an unrivaled, individual sound that you’ll definitely enjoy if you like alternative R&B or rock music.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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