The pop song you’ve been dreaming of.
It’s not often I find myself having to conjure this type of mental imagery, but: imagine one of those dreams which appear to be soundtracked by a song you’ve never heard before, but sounds vaguely familiar*. That’s the kind of sound on offer in CLAVVS‘ latest single, Leviathan. It’s the dreamy electropop track you’ve been dreaming of.
A smooth velvet vocal that flicks seamlessly between an attitude of carelessness and immense care of delivery are the key focal point of this particular dream. The musical backdrop, while fantastic in its melody and flawless in its lifts, breaks and drops, is the part of the dream that lingers as a faint memory but one you can’t quite recall because your attention was diverted elsewhere. The vocal.
In instances like this, it’s a shame in a way that the music is as great as it is. When vocals steal the show, it’s often good to pair it with underwhelming music. But for CLAAVS, underwhelming music is not an option. A quasi-erratic beat with a consistent click is the spine along which the voice travels to reach the listener’s every nerve. Synths send you to an ethereal, dreamlike state but still, in spite of this trippy and hypnotic (tripnotic?) sound, it’s the vocals that are the subject of your mind’s eye.
By all measures, Leviathan is worthy of repeated listening (as I have done all week so far). But a strange sense of disappointment comes in that CLAAVS failed to take the opportunity to not excel in this instance and let the vocal save a poor show, instead opting to create a mesmerising pop soundscape that listeners will get lost in as they follow the voice round and round ad infinitum. Darn. Isn’t it awful when bands exceed themselves?