Welcome to The Singles Bar, a review series focused on new single and song releases.
Mixtapes elicit such a feverish nostalgia ⎯⎯ a throwback form of romantic or platonic expression now replaced by playlists ⎯⎯ that you get easily swept up in the haunting memories of the past. That is the approach Heather LaRose, whose 2015 Beachside EP was one of the year’s best, seems to take with her EDM-colored new track “Mixtape,” initially a sticky-sweet ode to young love before the raspy drop erupts outward. “I’ve got a mixtape lying around with your first name / It’s a throwback sound,” she unpacks on the opening line, setting the bittersweet tone.
Later, she turns to another vintage artifact, reminiscing, “I’ve got a postcard with a landscape scene / And your address when we were 18 / Now, if I run to you, could we be living the dream tonight.” The hook then weaves in and out of scorching fervor and minted coolness, as she outlines: “So, I’ll put my lips together just to hum the tune / A perfect melody that I can not refuse / I know we can’t start over from the words we said but the sun won’t shine / So, try again.” It is the irresistible, swirling repetition and thickly-embellished synths, which sear onto the skin, ferociously, that elevate the song into the stratosphere. Amidst a tornado-pressed storm of production, LaRose’s vocal becomes buried but the extended mysteriousness and film-noir-ish angle is crucial to the song’s charm.
Hot summer nights. Glowing orbs riding the horizon. White, sandy beaches. And one tempting mixtape.
Grade: 3 out of 5