#NewMusicFriday: ‘Perfect to Me’ by Anne-Marie

After a smash debut album and a string of high-profile collaborations, the Essex singer returns with a fresh take on a previous release with the chilled but confident single, Perfect to Me – ★★★★☆

2018 is Anne-Marie’s year. Speak Your Mind was a hit record while her list of featured appearances currently includes the likes of Rudimental, Marshmello and David Guetta. Now the singer-songwriter keeps things rolling with a new version of album track, Perfect.

A sharp, real take on society’s perceptions of perfection and beauty, Perfect to Me has a sassier, more pronounced feel. While the rhythm of the original was staggering and complex, this latest version sounds tight and controlled. The quiet piano is replaced with expressive guitar chords to give it a vibe which fits in with past releases 2002 and F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Perfect to Me is available now on Apple Music and Spotify.

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Musical Discovery: ‘FRIENDS’ by Marshmello & Anne-Marie

It’s only three days until the love-fest that is Valentine’s Day, and rather than releasing the typical love song, Marshmello and his latest featured artist Anne-Marie wanted to go down the more anti-romance route with their single, FRIENDS.

Described in the title for the lyric video on YouTube as being the ‘official friendzone anthem’, Anne-Marie’s smooth vocals give the perfect sassy edge to this track for heartbreakers in a style where you can almost sense the smug grin on her face as she sings the lyrics in the recording booth.

Such a vibe isn’t only given off by Anne-Marie, as Marshmello dabbles in a bit of deception. A fluttering and catchy guitar melody creates an intimate, contrasting tone to that of Anne-Marie’s, right before dropping into a dirty trap beat. FRIENDS is a beautiful anti-climax – both instrumentally and vocally – which continues Marshmello’s mellow sound in a fresh, interesting and unexpected way.

Musical Discovery: ‘Silence’ by Marshmello feat. Khalid

We all remember when The Chainsmokers dominated the UK charts. Andrew Taggart’s mumbling and groaning vocals defined their style as DJs and meant that any other track by another artist with the same low vocals would be labelled repetitive or ‘samey’. It’s since been used by Frank Ocean (in Calvin Harris’ Slide) and OneRepublic (in Rich Love), but now the hit DJ Marshmello has offered his take on the more chilled side of dance with his track, Silence.

Every now and then, the masked musician (whom everyone has now assumed to be Chris ‘Dotcom’ Comstock despite no official confirmation) lurches back into the mainstream and moves away from the snappy trap and electronic vocals. The last track to do so was the 2016 single Ritual, which saw the singer Wrabel step up to the mic with high-pitched emotion. Now, Marshmello has done the complete opposite, adopting a slow tempo and low tone for his with release of the year.

This sudden shift could very well be part of what makes it distinctive, but there’s no denying that Khalid is the centre of attention on Silence. There’s a sense that Marshmello’s backed away this time around, sticking to soft piano chords, pulsing synth and plucky guitars which underlie the 19-year-old’s soulful lyrics.

Described by the American singer as being ‘a sad song… about being content with loneliness and turning it into a positive’, it makes sense that the vocals are raspy and the instrumental aspect of the track is stripped back. Lines such as ‘love only left me alone, but I’m at one with the silence‘ and ‘I found peace in your violence‘ demonstrate the reflective nature of Silence. It’s far from being a song for people to dance along to, but it’s certainly one for fans to wave their phones in the air for when the DJ gives it a spin during his August and September shows.

Silence is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.

Musical Discovery: ‘Ritual’ by Marshmello feat. Wrabel

It’s a style of music Deadmau5 has branded as ‘kiddy pop’. Whilst the intro to Marshmello’s Alone may sound reminiscent of disco tunes by Cascada and Basshunter, the latest track by the DJ – believed to be the artist DotCom – offers more different style, with hard-hitting bass and haunting synths. Ritual (feat. Wrabel) is far from pop, it’s a track which taps into the euphoric dance scene, whilst adding heavy melodies.

The single’s beat drop is bass-heavy and we hear it throughout the track as a whole, too. It’s an instrumental choice we hear in Madeon’s Nonsense, for example. In this case, it enables the listeners to focus on Wrabel’s soulful vocals in the verses and build-up to the chorus. As the song progresses towards the drop, the song flourishes with fuzzy chords and fluttering synth melodies. Then, when the moment comes, Wrabel voice goes falsetto (sounding almost like Sam Smith) reciting catchy, singalong lyrics. What sounds like an uplifting, vibrant track is contrasted with a darker main melody, filled with ghostly tunes. It’s a wonderful juxtaposition.

Although the song’s music video – and Marshmello himself – have come under fire from Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5) for making a reference to the DJ, the enigmatic artist is still gaining traction in the EDM world. Aside from the music, he’s jumped onto the ‘masked musician’ bandwagon which has seen singers and producers such as Sia and Daft Punk gain attention from fans who love the mystery of it all and await the day when they get to see the people behind the disguises.

With an enigmatic appearance combined with a fresh EDM style, who knew a human marshmallow could become so popular?

Liam