This release from Melbourne based artist Sam Square is a beautifully mesmerising piece of music and songwriting. Beginning with the distant echo of a simple ascending piano part, this immediately hypnotic ambiance emerges and surrounds you with its blissful, thoughtful creativity. The leading artist’s voice appears quite unexpectedly, bringing into the mix a touch of humanity, authenticity – an edge of indie-rock songwriting perhaps, with a deeply reflective and poetic nature to it. Soon enough, both elements – the delicacy of trip-hop and the weight and attitude of electronic rock – explode into life, cascading and crashing all around you, creating this truly compelling and complex piece of music and immensely emotional lyricism.
There are one or two moments within this single, within the four minutes and thirty one seconds experience, where the quiet, the spaciousness, explodes into something multi-layered and colourful. These drops, as it were, have an intense effect. The contrast between the softness of the piano part accompanied only by the artist’s voice, initially, and the later power of the complete mix, is magnetic – it draws you in from afar, willing you to turn it up or to switch to the more personal medium of headphones to truly immerse yourself in the audio.
From a songwriting perspective alone there’s so much here that clutches at your very humanity, your compassion, even your inner demons. From a creative perspective, and indeed that of a producer, there’s a whole world of beauty to appreciate. The structure of Dance The Pain in itself offers an intense and memorable journey that doesn’t notably compare with anything else available right now. There’s professionalism at every moment, but there’s also so much that is distinctly personal, honest, open – there’s a sincere level of character and identity to it all; to the style, to the tone of voice, to the chosen words of expression. The single stands out for all of these reasons and more. It’s a huge pleasure to listen to, several times over. Well worth exploring.