Stew’s Mixed Emotions feels like a familiar yet fresh take on modern pop. Yusei’s production has created a delicate and dreamlike soundscape, one with a simple, distant beat, and plenty of space. Within this, Stew’s leading voice and melody float with the simple beauty of a summertime hit – the sort of song you’d let play as the sun goes down.
Conceptually the track reaches out to those complex feelings we all experience from time to time. The song has a fairly minimal set-up, instrumentally and in terms of the verse-chorus mentality. At under two and a half minutes long, you basically get that chord progression, that softness, and Stew’s almost whispered performance, along with the hook, as the easy to access building blocks to really connect with.
The second time you listen, the smooth progression of that melody-line satisfies all the more. Immediately now you relate to the song and are likely to embrace the powerful way in which it fuses the softness of the idea and the performance with the lightly energizing, uplifting drum line. It lets you feel as if you’re flying through the night sky at high speed, if you want it to. Alternatively, it’s the last thing you play – that final song of the evening that calms you down and brings everything to a quiet finish.
Stew has done well to capture the sound of the moment with this, as well as not overwhelming his audience with weight or multiple layers of volume and colour and detail. The space and the simple beauty of it are likely to appeal for their originality and how easy they are to take on. The song has a quickly addictive feel, it’s such a short piece, but it leaves its mark without a doubt. You only need to hear a snippet of any part of it from a distance and you’d know, easily now, what you were hearing. Hopefully there’s plenty more where this came from.
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