Ever a proud advocate for collaboration and the power of more minds than one, United Duality emerge this season with an aptly titled single that brings together 13 artists from seven different countries.
Engaging from the offset, United marches into the room with a seductive little riff and a subsequently entrancing shuffle of an organic rhythm section – which proceeds to get your shoulders swaying at the very least.
It’s a memorable riff, recognisable for its subtle repetition throughout. Then you get a gorgeous leading vocal, raspy and clean-cut, up close and personal. Fragments of further detail and support follow along, lyrics fascinate and provoke thought, celebrate togetherness. Quite quickly there becomes a sort of John Butler Trio vibe to the track, short lines and quick rhythms, that raw instrumentation that begs for you to witness it in a live setting.
As things progress, the whole track evolves into this ultimately soulful and consistently interesting, musically satisfying audio experience. The second vocal lead – where the melody changes, the questions come in, passions are heightened – this moment sees the return of that riff, amidst flickers of confident guitar solos. And afterwards, everything falls away, an acoustic moment ensues – a sense of intimacy, honesty, and then a host of new voices and a sudden, beautiful sense of warmth.
In many ways, the latter half feels like a whole new song. United in its entirety takes listeners on a sort of theatrical journey, through contemplation to solution, optimism, possibility. The latter half is categorically the anthemic moment – that time when the crowd can’t help but join in with the vast level of oneness proclaimed by the artists involved.
While in some cases, a collaborative effort involving so many can end up seeming crowded or chaotic, the arrangement, production and performances here all result in a genuinely crisp and beautiful sounding piece of music. The writing is backed up professionally by the soundscape and the changing levels of energy, and every moment has been carefully, thoughtfully incorporated so as to work to that same United goal.
Superb, a wonderful end of the year hit, and absolutely worth a listen at volume.
United welcomes the cast, Jaykle (Australia), and the choir – Stoneygate (UK), Rose Finn (UK), Liz Davinci (Germany), ACG (Austria), Keith Spinney (Malaysia), Rolan Crawford (Iowa, USA), Bud Summers (Missouri, USA), Jill Winter (Florida, USA), Sucrepop (France), and the one and only Oxaï Roura (Guiana & France).