Starting with some downbeat conversation, close to the mic, all lip-smacks and breath noises, this kind of confessional half-spoken, half-sung delivery lives or dies on how cool the artist delivering it actually is.
No worries on that score here though – it rapidly becomes obvious we’re in a very safe pair of hands: ‘We’re cool, babes / Swear we’re fine’. And Comfortable is just that.
Raw, fresh, no autotune in sight, Jack Da Union puts across a narrative with great clarity. The lead vocal is laid back, swagger-filled, unconcerned, close to the mic and in our faces. The female backing vocals that join with the lead in specific parts are reverb-drenched and sweetly juxtaposed with it. But spookily, the lead vocal also sings each line the backing vocals do, stepping outside of the spoken word feel to pick out the melody precisely before stepping straight back into the cool. The technique creates a series of awesome, transformative moments that set the song up somewhere rather special.
As you continue to listen, you notice that the keyboards are also syncing up with these moments, subtly adding colour and flavour in muted stabs of synth. There are some beautiful watery pads and reversed noises picking out gorgeous harmonic moments, while jazzy piano holds the hip hop grooves together.
Then the arrangement progresses as the backing vocals opt for more complicated riffs and embellish the melody that the leading voice is far too cool to busy itself with. It really makes the listener focus on the lyric and appreciate the playfulness of the dynamic between the two states.
It’s a classy piece, augmented further by the distracting visuals of an accompanying video, a Japanese-inflected film that suits the material well.