LA’s Onicks injects a sublime level of smooth soul and passion into the contemporary music scene with this single. Leading with a quickly engaging, trip-hop-kissed soundscape, and a beautifully expressive, confidently flawless yet characterful leading voice, the balance between style and natural emotion is immense; a huge part of what makes High such a rightfully addictive track.
From delicate beginnings, there’s a familiarity to the sound – perhaps it feels partly influenced by The Weeknd, but with an organic thread to incite curiosity. A simple guitar sound, an effected vocal – this could go in any direction; hip hop, RnB, dance. Soon enough though, the satisfying weight of the beat kicks in, and this notably meandering, interesting and equally gratifying melody proceeds to weave its soulful contemplation around you. And this is still just the beginning.
The latter half sees Onicks venture off into near-rock territory; a dash of Highly Suspect comes to light. Then there’s the middle-8, everything falls away – piano leads, things get all the more fascinating lyrically. This concept of being high reaches impeccable peaks, and the music drops in with stunning impact afterwards.
The whole thing is brilliantly well-structured, delivering a fine balance between softness and grit, passion and intimacy – volume and thoughtful reflection. It holds your interest, it satisfies, and every moment is flawlessly and refreshingly performed.
A defiantly immersive, compelling new single. A favourite from the year’s alternative pop so far. Hopefully there’s more to come.