Bad Bubble - Underscore - Stereo Stickman

Bad Bubble Underscore


Starting with a string arrangement initially as ominous as the project’s retro artwork, Bad Bubble ultimately delivers a complex, unpredictable and captivating audio experience, for Underscore.

To begin, A Tide rolls in, uncertain and quiet at first, before passionate and a little Adagio For Strings-esque; on its way to becoming a cinematic final scene from a cult drama classic. The music proves incredibly powerful, breathtaking even, as it meanders through this journey – emotive and impressively eclectic for its rightfully intermittent waves of energy and calm / chaos and quiet.

Far from a definitive example of what Underscore will deliver, the opener proves an exclusively mellow orchestral singularity, before the electro-funk and retro effects of Jupiter present a thoughtful, vocally moving and lyrically revealing venture.

The transition is unusual, but it works – the energy matches, melancholy and possibility intertwine amidst heartbreak and longing. Nostalgic effects take us back to another era, but really it’s the writing, the composition, that drives – Bad Bubble defined by intention and artistry, rather than genre.

Versatility is a lasting strength of Underscore, even with the familiarity of the voice now – A Fair View Of You pours through with a whole new creative presence; multiple layers of colour colliding and spiraling amidst a personal outpouring of adoration.

The title-track is a subtle beauty, vocals peaking from the outset in near-falsetto, whilst electronically programmed drums keep things interesting – alongside a wash of synths for that essential chord pattern of comfort. ‘Call me a dirtbag’ resounds amidst a plethora of lyrics devoted to exploring the role of the self and the headspace involved in certain situations.

Creative production blends yesteryear synths, rhythms and tones for this project, whilst a contemporary overtone, unique vocals and deeply personal writing style maintain roots in the current times of self-expression and uncertainty. A Better Play is a fine example, haunting and compelling in its melodic simplicity and contrastingly overwhelming gamer-style downpour.

Switching gears distinctly is Puppy Ocean, clarity and space, bass and rhythm and passionate vocals, all creating a fresh realm of 80’s design and conceptual intrigue. Then A Light for the Lost feels familiar again in its cinematic, moody yet heartfelt desire.

After this, Grog hits with a welcomed lightness, quirky and calming in melody and playful vocal style, increasing the intensity softly throughout – becoming a kind of Genesis-like remix during its latter half.

Melodically we get a definite highlight in the form of The Eggs Pt. 2 – mainstream accessible for its simple piano part and these haunting yet beautiful vocal melodies and the desperation and need for trust that extends from the lyrics. Then we revert back to electronic fullness, for the strong groove and hypnotic embrace of a thoughtful Usurped.

A Bad Way is the closer, feeling something like a live jam session on the keys – lashings of reverb offering distance and dreamy calm, before rhythm and vocal passion again see us plunged into the depths of contemplation.

Structurally these songs follow their own purposeful routes, not simply verse-chorus but an overall vibe – committed to the soundscape in every case, with a select few repeating riffs and vocal inflections to ground things.

Bad Bubble essentially blends freestyle performance and writing with unshakable musical foundations, for an album that feels both familiar and unorthodox, and in the end promises an unrivaled and deeply-human listen.

Check out all things Bad Bubble here or follow them on Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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