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fxrrvst - CBAYAOM (self-released)

17 June 2024

I loved fxrrvst’s previous single, “Lavender,” and I love this follow-up even more. If last time around, I talked about the sad/infectious contradiction in the lyrical/musical counterpoint; here it is the wonderfully deft and, again, perhaps slightly contradictory, musical elements that make up the song that jump out at me.

That said, there is again a slight air of that previous melancholic and wistful reflection going on in the lyrics, especially when you realise that “CBAYAOM” stands for Can’t Be All You Ask of Me and then lean in a bit and hear the sad realisations being conveyed by this sentiment.

Again, they deliver this sad song via a brilliantly upbeat groove, one made up of seemingly opposing sonic forces. A punkish-indie beat drives a spacious confession before swathes of spiralling soul-pop guitars add some wonderful textures, and the whole thing evolves into a hazy, cosmic, indie-pop anthem and finally is put to bed via a playout laced with almost country twangs.

“CBAYAOM” works because it plays with ever-changing dynamics, and as it ebbs and flows between all of these sonic states, it ticks enough boxes with each genre that it is hard to think who wouldn’t like this and like it immediately. Pop pickers will love the immediacy and jauntiness; indie kids will dig the groove; the clubland set will get off on the danceability of the song, and emos, and perhaps even the more broad-minded goths will appreciate the raw honesty of the lyrics.

When is a song, not a song? When it is a sonic curveball and a brilliant one at that.