Following his departure from the indie band scene, The Blue Artic takes a step towards the colour and versatility of pop music. First Time is the first official single under this name, and the artist’s experience and love for music shine brightly on it.
First Time is something of a dance-pop single that feels like a breath of summertime returning to warm things up. From a musical perspective, there’s an EDM vibe to the track – the production is superb and this lets the delicate, quieter moments draw you in and the louder, harder drop to really hit with impact. It’s a well-crafted release in itself for these very qualities – turn the track up loud and feel the beat, the energy of it. On top of this though, and providing a valuable backbone, is some notably heartfelt, poetic and reflective songwriting – and of course The Blue Artic’s beautifully accessible leading voice.
The Blue Artic vocal sound is refreshingly warm. There’s definitely an indie-rock twang to some moments – a subtle hint of gravel that mixes well with the overall smoothness. It’s a voice well suited to pop though, you can hear the singer meandering through the various stages of the song with ease and confidence. This adds further to the power of the drop, the change in key, the sudden brightness and strength of the hook.
The song’s hook is simple in nature – those four words, like the first time, linger in your mind thanks to well-placed non-intrusive repetition. What really makes this work though is the long-form set-up that leads to this point. There’s plenty of build up, the scene is set with details and expression – these multiple ideas all link back to the first time phrase; offering a satisfying resolve that never lets you down. It’s an easy song to enjoy and one that’s relevant to today’s sound, as well as being distinctive and memorable in a classically pop manner.
The Blue Artic has plenty in store for the future – releases planned, live shows at the ready. For now though, these two recordings make for a great way to get to know his sound and his approach to creativity.
Stellar Love comes in the form of a beautiful live performance – organic, thoughtfully arranged and gorgeously performed. The Blue Artic’s voice sounds even more emotional and characterful in this bare, acoustic setting. The added vocal harmonies bring a choir-feel to the soundscape – giving it a much bigger aura. These melodies that rain down are lovely, calming and memorable once again, and the lyrics of the song really paint a powerful and poetic journey – a trait that runs throughout The Blue Artic’s songwriting.
The shared effect of these two releases is that you get to witness both the high energy, polished presentation of a single, and the stripped back, raw acoustic set-up of an intimate live performance – and in both cases, The Blue Artic easily meets the requirements of the moment. You can hear and indeed see the effort and passion that has been put into the music. The upcoming releases that follow are likely to bring through even more of these qualities, as well as some equally fascinating, provocative writing and ideas. One to look out for.