TRACK PREMIERE: def.sound “S T R U C K !” (PROD. BY ZHAO)
There’s a moment in the third movement of def.sound’s latest potent-meets-ponderous funk jazz sojourn where the wit and tongue-in-cheek lyrics of the first two-thirds of the song give way to naked reflection, the song’s BPM crashing to earth as a quieter reality sets in: “Maybe for a moment, massage away the trauma. Maybe …” def posits, a suggestion aimed at both the listener and himself. It’s tough to take this advice, right? Especially with our health in a vise, our heads in a shroud and our heartbeats double-timed.
def’s writing and vocal work feel like a culmination of the influences we’ve heard stewing since his stellar Colored album dropped last year: hooks on top of hooks, connected by evocative and complex metaphors, linked by laid-back but laser-focused delivery. These are party songs simmering with malevolence. “S T R U C K !”‘s arrangement feels like life itself: frenetic, moody, sweaty, then an unsettling stillness, a time to take inventory of all that led into this very second. Producer Zhao is an alchemist here, stirring legato basslines into prickly, swung-16th-note drum figures played with rods, and shimmering yet gently dampened piano that essentially screams ‘melancholy.’ Says def:
“As a song itself STRUCK! is not just a love song. I believe it’s about the moment you re-realize you have the capacity to feel again. Especially right now we are all going through ebb’s and flows of the idk, but when we all come out of it there will be a moment or a person or an interaction that will leave us STRUCK! (a)gain. Imagine what that first hug will feel like at an event post-quarantine.”
It’s tough to imagine that moment without tears welling up in your ducts. That moment—even just the yearning for it—is the heart of this song, a reminder to look toward the future while clinging to since-past joy. More at def’s site, where he promises: “LISTENING EXPERIENCE HERE!”