Through the misty melodies that act as our introduction to Jerad Finck’s single “Home,” a humble harmony rises to the surface and takes charge of a formless rhythm just as it seems it’s doomed to float through the universe aimlessly. Finck’s voice is dead-center in the middle of it, and it’s guiding us into the dark depths of the somber tones in the music like a beacon of light in the eye of a harrowing hurricane. “What do you want? I don’t know if I should stay” he sings in a whisper, his words bouncing off of the bassline and leaving an effervescent trail of reverb in their wake. The mood is erotic, but these verses are anything but a celebration of romance. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place with Finck as our only means of survival, but even as we sink deeper and deeper into the clutches of this devastating dirge, we’re never afraid; for there is a light at the end of this tunnel that is burning with all of the passion that we hear in our lead singer’s crooning.
The chorus comes at us like a ton of bricks and smacks us with its intensity at the 0:42 mark in the song, and while the synthesizers are sizzling, they’re not dialing up the emotion as much as Finck’s vocal is. He gives us a sample of what he can do in act one, but the second time around, he lets everything loose and cuts through the melodic ribbonry of the synths with nothing more than his razor-sharp singing. The beats are hypnotic, but they’re not repetitive. Every percussive slash delivered by the drums is a little different than the one that came before it, and even when the pattern gets more than a bit eccentric, we never get very far from the main hook that powers up the verses. We sway harder and harder as we near the fever pitch of the track, and though I was expecting a somewhat showier finish at the end of the song, I wasn’t let down by the understated outro that Finck ultimately decided to go with here.
While the main focus in “Home” is obviously its surreal poetry, the music that gives the words their meaning is just as supremely highbrow and animated, despite the austere nature of the minor key melodies. Synthpop has never been my favorite subgenre of pop music, but in the last half decade we’ve seen a gradual shift away from the annoying industrial influences that traditionally kept me steering clear of the genre, and in their place an adoption of a more cerebral, psychedelic-tinged electropop sound that has made it a much more intellectual listen by any respectable critic’s standards. Jerad Finck’s music is the epitome of this collective transition, and though I wouldn’t compare his work to anyone else’s within his scene, I think that he has the potential to become one of its more influential members if he keeps his nose to the grindstone and produces material with as much gusto as he has in “Home.”