“Upfront” by “LayedbackBeats” opens up with a dramatic intensity that is portrayed at first by a single electronic soundscape. The intensity soon evolves into something much more full sounding, it in fact becomes an infectiously upbeat piece of music, still intricate in detail and still very much expressed with a feeling of theater about it, but on the whole an incredibly impressive and well-crafted composition.
The musical backdrop to the song has a great sound, the riffs, the beat, the stop and start nature of the whole thing – the production is creative, and although fairly minimalist, it’s hugely effective. The track pauses and rises up again with style and precision. The hook melody is simple yet memorable, it swings around and lingers in your mind long after listening, and the way the music has been crafted around this crucial moment is impressive and works really well.
The music seems to build and change and redirect itself in a series of fast-paced moments that come to an end almost too quickly. The story presented, and indeed, the journey the music takes you on as a listener, is immediately captivating, and the skill and speed with which the instrumentation is performed has the power to really keep hold of you until the whole thing comes to an end. Brandon Miller’s production is an insanely high standard, and what’s enjoyable about witnessing it is that the focus is not consistently on this skill and speed, it’s purely a secondary benefit – albeit, an incredible one.
The artist’s performance style stands out well among its peers – the sound is fresh, as mentioned, and there’s a beautifully satisfying rhythm to the delivery. Furthermore, the voice itself brings with it all the relevant emotions to carry the concept of the song well. You can hear the passion behind the words, and once you familiarize yourself with the soundscape it becomes even clearer.
The development of the music is amazing, there’s an organic sound to many of the instruments, a big music, even classical touch at times, and the electric vibe leading alongside all of this is beautifully inspired and consistently creative. The additional blessing is that, as suggested, despite the artist’s sheer precision and undeniable ability – the music plays out as expressive of a story and a certain set of feelings. There are moments of downtime to enjoy, moments of space and quiet, and of course, those huge moments in which the intensity and the explicit joy re-group and re-enter your listening space. It’s a thrill to listen to, particularly at high volumes.