“I think I could take it / I need a little tough love / I know I can take it from you” croons Vân Scott in one of the more memorable moments from his new single “Tough Love,” a song that’s set to drop this upcoming September 20th but which has already racked up a slew of warm reviews from around the underground ahead of its official release. Scott delivers a vocal performance on par with some of the best in the business in this track, and if you’ve never had the opportunity to indulge in his uniquely intimate style of pop prior to now, I would highly recommend using the mighty melodies that comprise this composition as a point of introduction to his splendidly organic charms.
The grooves here are as magnetizing as anything his sultry voice can muster is, and that’s not something that I’ve been able to say about a lot of the pop music – American, international, mainstream and indie alike – that’s debuted in 2019. There’s so much energy on the percussive side of the track, and yet there’s never a moment where the drumbeat distracts us from the main star of this show – the virtuosic Vân Scott. He’s rejecting the very notion of going minimalist in “Tough Love” and reasserting himself as an artist who doesn’t mind embracing a little bit of excess if it means creating a whole lot of chills among anyone who happens to be within earshot of his beats.
Scott has never been one to sound hesitant in the studio, but he sounds particularly relaxed in his performance in this song. His confidence is through the roof but stops short of turning into full-fledged arrogance, mostly because of the monolithic presence that the instrumentation has in the foreground of the master mix. The rhythm in “Tough Love” is sublime fodder for the dancefloor of any packed nightclub, and somehow (despite the immense difficulties in doing so) it translates as being as ambient as it is enthralling. If there’s something that Scott was ultimately trying to achieve in the creation of this piece, my gut tells me that it was demonstrating his one of a kind artistic duality – something that many critics, myself included, had wanted to hear him explore a bit more than he had previously in this latest release.
I’ve been listening to this guy for a minute now, but if this is the direction that he’s taking his sound in moving forward, I honestly cannot wait to hear more of his material following “Tough Love.” He isn’t necessarily reinventing himself as a performer in this song, but Vân Scott is undeniably getting in touch with elements of his style that he had only hinted at exposing in the past here. It’s a definite sign of his continued growth as an artist, and I think that a lot of his peers could stand to take a page out of his book when it comes to recording a meaningful melody at this stage of a career. He’s sounding as on-point as he ever has, and giving us a taste of what he’s got in store for us next.