As the good weather hits, the sun chases the cool shadows away and people’s thoughts turn to the outdoors, socializing at the beach, around the barbeque, the park, and so their taste for suitable music changes. Banging tunes might be perfect for the Friday ritual of getting ready to hit the bars, and energetic pop might be the perfect music for an evening in a bar but now we need something different. Now we need something like Nirvana, the latest release from Shannon Burchett.
Nirvana is the perfect soundtrack to the summer because it seems to be unobtrusive, and I mean that in a good way. It hangs in the air and adds atmosphere and ambiance without being distracting. That said, if you do take the time to lean into the song and find out what it is all about, you find a most rewarded sonic experience.
Understated it may be but it is that gentleness, that low and lilting quality, the warm whisper at its heart, which is its strength. So many artists feel the need to fill up every available space in a track, Burchett seems merely to wrap the existing space in a musical bubble, a thin and gorgeous gossamer shell, and little else.
The beats tick by, grounding the song nicely, and between this backbeat and the top line vocals, there is little in between, for the most part, just some deft electronica and delicate sound washes. It is not until the guitar break that the song gains any real solidity until then it is happy to drift past the listener’s consciousness, to take on a light and lucid form and it is this contrast that makes the song work so well.
Not many artists would be confident or comfortable enough to create a song that is such a celebration of space as an instrument but that is what Shannon Burchett excels at here.
Pop seems to be in a sorry state at the moment, so many artists are happy to merely follow the tried and tested templates of the current zeitgeist. The result is a long line of production-line songs of a mainstream that has been dictated to us by the powers that be, the record companies in their ivory towers. Nirvana, from the forthcoming album Lucky, is a reminder that things can change. Things must change.