Sweet Imperfections’ single Gently Not Judgingly is so well crafted and warmly produced that I almost forgot to review it the first time around. The music fills the room like a live soft pop song should. The energy is hopeful and uplifting, though everything has a subtlety and smoothness so it just plays out like any professionally captured musical moment. The instrumentation fuses a little of the organic folk world with a slightly more slick and stylish flicker of the soundscape as well. Structurally this works well, everything at once brings vibrancy and color, then for the verse sections, the space created by the acoustic sound and the leading artist’s voice leads effectively up towards the hook.
Sweet Imperfections is led by singer-songwriter Bri Schillings and a collective of Southern California’s most talented musicians and writers. From a child Bri was drawn to music early, feeling the connectivity and energy between nature and sound. Following this magnetic pull, she found herself picking out melodies she had heard on different instruments and remembers feeling that awe and magic, as if she had unlocked a secret door to a magical world where she felt safe, understood, beautiful, inspired, and where she learned what love was.
The rhythm of the song is great, those music moments really showcase a lightly funk-inspired edge, also laying bare the fact that this song would work in a live setting as both a full band gig and simply a solo acoustic offering. The melody and the poetry of the lines, the imagery presented, sink in pretty quickly. The shortness of the lines helps out in this respect, you remember certain snippets after listening just once, and then with each return to the song you pick up on more and more.
The single has been brilliantly crafted, from the gentle and easy to relax to the ambiance, to the creative variety as the beat moves along, to the precise and satisfying display of lyrical flow – everything about it presents equal parts professionalism and character. You get a sense of secure identity and personality, the sort that will bring audiences back for more releases as they seek out that familiar sound from here on in. And the professional element, the crisp and compelling power of the audio, makes for a complete and enjoyable release that is incredibly easy to vibe to.
The underlying sentiment of the song is beautiful, valuable, and important. The song has depth and is reflective in an honest and emotionally human sort of way. That meeting of the professional side of music-making and the open, authentic side of being an artist has been really well captured. Sweet Imperfections has written a great song and it’s highly likely that the rest of the Somebody, Somewhere album will follow suit.