RB Deep in the Mix: Mercer – Nouvelle Vague 3
January 16, 2020
January 16, 2020
In the ’70s, there was dark wave. In the ’90s, grunge took over. Then in the 2000s, we had pop-punk and emo. Now, in the 2010s, we’re seeing another dark, underground sub-genre emerge and it’s headed to the mainstream. Popularized by artists like Rezz and 1788-l, midtempo, the lovechild of goth and techno, has become a staple at every large festival, but it’s only getting bigger. One rising midtempo artist has been making quite a name for himself lately and his debut studio album will leave you speechless. On August 2, LICK released DARK VIBE ORDER and while the album has something for everyone, it’s a testimony as to why this dark bass sub-genre is here to stay.
“Sensation” introduces the darkness in DARK VIBE ORDER with atmospheric sounds and a sullen melody that begins to sound closer and closer to the listener until it transitions into the next song, “Dawnless” with TIMIAN. It’s one of my favorite songs off the album and has a unique, deep bass that you’ll never get sick of. If you want a more chill song, “Poison” featuring Tori Letzler is perfect for you. Starting off with 80’s inspired synth plucks and beautiful, ethereal vocals, “Poison” takes you on a journey through sound. There are so many twists and turns in the track, yet the effortless flow remains constant.
LICK jumps right back into the action with “NO WAY,” one of the heavier songs on DARK VIBE ORDER. The bass drop is filled with glitches and sporadic basses that grab the listener’s attention, all while sounding consistently dark. Arguably the most popular song off of DARK VIBE ORDER, “DISAPPEAR” with Slowpalace featuring Sara Skinner is emotional with just the right amount of edginess to fit perfectly in the album. The vocals and lyrics alongside the electronic strings make for a perfect sentimental ballad and hearing this song through festival speakers will certainly make you shed a tear. The next song, “SAY,” is a completely different vibe than the other songs on DARK VIBE ORDER and is part trap part R&B. Slightly distorted vocals allow “SAY” to match the rest of the album’s aesthetic and the song shows off LICK’s talent as a multi-genre producer.
“BODY” featuring Luna Aura is a fan favorite from DARK VIBE ORDER and for a good reason. Luna Aura’s vocals set up a classic midtempo drop that’s eerie, yet utterly groovy. Next up on the album is “RUNAWAY” featuring Toni Letzler and if there’s one song on this album that I recommend you listen to it’s this one. I won’t give away too much about this song but it’s a combination of several genres that is united by Tori Letzler’s angelic vocals. LICK’s gradual change from dark bass to future bass is seamless and unparalleled.
As previously stated, DARK VIBE ORDER has something for everyone, even house fans. Thanks to artists like Dr. Fresch, we know that midtempo and house go well together and LICK’s 9th song on the album, “DROP DRAWS,” supports this further. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear more of LICK’s house music because “DROP DRAWS” is fun, creative, all while matching his distinct dark style.
DARK VIBE ORDER is the perfect album that showcases LICK’s mastery at production and sound design. The musical diversity in the album is something we don’t hear from many producers and LICK does an excellent job switching it up, while still sounding consistently hard-hitting. If you liked the album, be sure to check out LICK’s other music. You won’t be disappointed.
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