Louie St. Claire offers music fans a stunning set of vocals, the sort that lean back and forth between the almost awesome and the soulful soundscape. 23 Freestyle is a brilliant song, there’s a sense of anticipation or rising intensity from the offset – the rap vibe and indeed the verse vocal delivery come through with a level of undiscovered or slowly building weight.
This feels like a huge track but the building blocks have a notably organic nature. Then you get the beat, subtle or humble in itself, barely noticeable in some respects as the electronic soundscape carries the bulk of the movement. In addition there are some flickers of distant synths or sounds that add a touch of further character. For the most part though, it’s the leading voice and the lyrics that drive the experience and captivate the listener.
It’s an impressive recording, for sure – the artists are united by a shared love for the genre and for musical self-expression in general. You can hear this within every element and you can see it in the accompanying video. That central idea is certainly what gives the song its edge though – the thing that places it slightly outside of the common arena and pushes it off in its own, stylish, thoughtful, and memorable direction.
Once the sound has made itself familiar, which happens fairly swiftly, you then start to really notice and connect with the lyrics and the way the artist delivers them. As stated, there’s passion in the vocal performance, and this varies throughout depending on what the line or the moment requires. The subject matter is clearly something kept close at heart, falling heavy on the thought process, which means you witness this roller-coaster-like journey through personal turmoil to acceptance and then back again. The use of contrast within the performance adds dynamic variation to an otherwise smooth and simply hypnotic piece of music. 23 Freestyle undoubtedly brings something unique and characterful to the scene. Likely a strong indication of what you can expect from the album.
This is a great release, gentle and gritty all at once – surely the sort of sound that would work wonders at a live show. Louie St. Claire has something that’s his, that’s real and loaded with personality. Well worth exploring.