Best Music Spotlight

Emma & the Idles – Ride or Die

Photograph of the blog post author, Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson


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An edgy, somewhat more traditional take on modern pop trends. Though compositionally the track is well in keeping with formulaic radio pop writing, the instrumental and production choices move to individualise Ride or Die.

Ride or Die

The presence of live instrumentation creates and maintains an air of authenticity to the track. Distorted bass darkens the tone and anchors the layered melodies in the verses. Combined with the hard-hitting but sparse percussion section, the rhythms are held in place under meandering vocalisations.

The vocal delivery takes lead for the entirety of the track. Using harsher rhythmic phrasing and repeating themes of melisma and falsetto peaks, the voice section is responsible for the motif sustenance for the majority of the work. More dramatic sections of the track, dynamically shifting both up and down, see the voice become louder and more explorative with its embellishments. Equally, the lower, sparser sections are characterised by the fragility and restraint. These changes are always reflected across the production and instrumentation. At times an increase in subtler percussive elements such as filtered kicks and toms creep into the mix. Other times heavily distorted fuzzy leads are released to mimic and counter the lead melody.

These larger instrumental changes are well balanced to keep the track accessible but appropriately familiar to a typical radio play. The track is a strong work of a predictable sound. It lifts and falls exactly when it should, and exactly when you guessed it would. The work, however, does not seek to push and develop the genre, merely to excel within it and there is some measurable success found there.

  • Overall rating: 7/10
  • Pairs well with: Historian Lucy Dacus

About Emma & the Idles

‘Singer-songwriter Emma Withers, started her journey busking on the streets of London with her trusty guitar ‘Gretschin’ on her back (its a Gretsch) Gigging around London in various well know venues, Emma has been working hard since going full time with her music in June 2019 and now is a freelance songwriter by profession. She rebranded with Emma & the Idles, with ‘Ride or Die’ as the debut single from the rebirth! Two more songs are to follow in this collection, and from there Emma will be in the studio with her band to record their new material.’

Stream ‘Ride Or Die’ on Spotify:

Follow Emma & the Idles on:

Facebook | Spotify

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