Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier
There is a crystalline quality to the sound of “Alone” that immediately draws you in. As if the listener stumbled onto an intergalactic party barge. The mood is that of a non-stop sonic festival as my ears are taken through this synth-pop anthem by Almost July.
Amidst the electronic instrumentation, jangly guitars and disco style dance beats lies the tale of a young man professing love in the framework of a celebration. The lyrics that struck me in particular was the line “I’m addicted like a dream. Like we’re back to 17. Yeah I like the way it feels when we’re alone.” It’s simple and to the point, yet undeniably catchy.
The vocals are drenched in a multitude of effects including reverb and what to me sounds like a vocoder at times at a pleasing effect. What was really surprising to me was that the vocals themselves were blended into the mix more so than a typical pop tune which usually has the voice front and center. It was a refreshing change to hear a musician having consideration for all instruments in mind and not having the vocals front and center just for the sake of it.
Being that this is a pop tune, the production is what stands out to my ear first. Upon first listen, I got the impression of being in a hotel in Tokyo (I’ve never been but that’s the feeling I get at least.). Everything is shimmering and glossy and futuristic especially in the post chorus instrumental break where the listener is immersed in synthetic blasts of saccharine keyboards. It makes for a potent ear worm that has yet to leave my head.
In short, if dance laden synth pop from the future is something that tickles your fancy, give “Alone” a spin and you’re sure to be tickled. It's a great song with imaginative production, tasteful vocal nuance, and shimmering artistry.
Stream on Spotify.
About Almost July
New York-based band Almost July is the creation of Skip Glogan, who writes, produces and arranges all of their ambient, alt-pop songs. Their pre-pandemic live show had Skip playing keys and fronting the band with a combination of live instruments, samples, and electronics created and looped on the fly. The duo is completed by New York mainstay Derek Broomhead on drums and drum pads.
Almost July made their mark at iconic NYC venues Rockwood Music Hall and Mercury Lounge before sitting at home alone making music for locked down listeners. They have been avoiding total insanity by collaborating over zoom and live streaming from Skip's home studio. The result is their new single, "alone" which attempts to lean into the good, bad, and honest aspects of getting to know yourself and your loved ones in this stay-at-home era.