Welcome to The Singles Bar, a review series focused on new single and song releases.
Electronica is an assembly line, scrap parts capriciously manufactured for the sake of mass consumption. Few tunesmiths carry enough acumen to construct a convincing, poignant thread line in between electrifying shockwaves. However, Ephwurd (involving magic men Datsik and Bais Haus) demolish cliches with an abundance of grimy underground synths, each bouncing off the inside of your skull and reverberating into the icy winter blasts. “Function,” featuring contributions from Oneeva, consisting of producer Antonio Fioravanti and vocalist Natalie Kyoko Waters, careens wildly down a back alley, sinister tentacles coiling around the ear lobs. “My function is not clear / I feel a lack of memories,” Waters bites on the opening line, welding an eery, futuristic undercurrent with a grounded, fluttering humanity. “There’s an overproduction of equality…”
The accompanying lyric video heightens the sci-fi elements, leaving you just a bit flustered. A human-like robot head twists into frame. In the pre-chorus, the viewer is beckoned down a sterilized corridor, and on each beat drop, the visual trembles and spins, disturbingly. “My design, pure in mind / Locked inside, your grip left blind,” Waters percolates, as more robots splash across the screen and move with a calculated mystic. “Don’t delay / End this game,” she later urges, a seemingly bizarre warning of artificial intelligence’s impending war on mankind. “Your cliches so well conveyed.”
Of course, the lyrics, as menacing as they are, remain vague enough to apply to a romantic entanglement. The mix of mechanical beings and cold production choices against Waters’ very emotional performance (and the gentle chirp of birds in the outro) is jarring but compelling. “Function,” which follows the raucous, Fatman Scoop-assisted “Money,” is as bleak as it is balmy, nestled between sending chills down your spine and causing a mid-summer night’s sweat.
Grade: 3 out of 5
Photo Credit: Piper Ferguson