Contemporary production and nostalgic sound design. Can’t Get Over You comes together as a timeless and coloured romance with an edge.
Regarding the instrumental, the two driving elements are the electric piano voicings and the drum machine. The two combine to bridge a gap in two musical worlds.
The piano voicing recalls 80s ballads with its chunky bell tones and modulated release. Having some familiarity with this sound brings out an emotionally weighted feeling of nostalgia. The subtly embellished arpeggios provide a further sense of depth and musicality to the instrument. This is enhanced as the performance responds to dynamic and rhythmic changes across the work. In particular, the chorus and bridges contain huge changes in content. Stripping away instrumentation or engaging in syncopated counter rhythms that reinforce the rhythmic devices in the vocal lead.
Running in a supportive contrast to the piano is the dry and punchy drum sequence. A simple but responsive kick sound adds a very slight implication of swing and rhythmic play. This, in addition to a predictable snare/clap hit, ties the rest of the percussion to a solid rhythm. In turn, this provides room for more explorative and confrontational embellishment from the drum section. Hi-hat flurries appear and disappear sporadically between vocal phrases. Sometimes lining up with the vocal lead to emphasise small melodic cadences, and sometimes embodying a counterrhythm to dramatize the more intense, straight-played vocalisations.
Between these two instruments and the ever-present vocal lead, different sonic layers can be heard weaving in and out of each other. In this case, the vocal performance does more than provide lyrical content. In fact, it functions as another instrument. Providing more intricate textural work with echoing falsettos and dynamic arcs in the delivery. In the work’s finale a filter is applied to the voice, drastically changing the reception and humanisation of the performance. This reinstates the idea of dichotomy drawn in by the piano and drum pairings.
Can’t Get Over You is an immediately likeable and timeless track. It has all the makings a modern classic and stands as an example of adaptive song-writing.
‘Born in Ottawa, Canada, JENNA Nation was introduced to music at an early age through her musical family. She began her career with extensive training and success with classical music/opera and jazz. While studying at the highly respected Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she graduated summa cum laude with her vocal performance degree, Jenna began focusing on r&b/pop’
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