“So hard to know when it’s enough to show my soul on the floor / Get closer, closer to yourself” sings a beautifully melodic Arina Mai in the new single “Get Closer,” her voice channeling all of the emotion that’s built up behind her in the instrumentation prior to the appearance of this stately chorus. A lyrical masterpiece yet a track that is defined by far more than its poeticisms alone, this is one single that pop fans need to hear for themselves this summer – if for no other reason than to get exposed to one of Denmark’s most talented young voices.
MORE ON ARINA MAI: https://www.arinamai.com/
The piano is subtle and surreal in the backdrop, but there’s rarely a moment in this song in which it doesn’t complement the warmth of Mai’s lead vocal with its icy sonic overlay. There isn’t a lot of excess space in this mix for any of the typical bells and whistles that one might expect to hear in a modern pop song – truth be told, the two primary elements here are the keys and the vocals, with no room for synthetics at all. Mai isn’t interested in crafting inorganic material, and if that wasn’t known before, it’s definitely made perfectly clear to us in this track.
There’s a wonderful texture to the bass element here that really caught my attention in my initial sit-down with “Get Closer,” and even after repeat listens I think it’s one of the more impactful instrumental parts in the mix. To be fair, even the components that feel miniscule beside the vocal in this single can be found contributing to the mood of the music at some juncture or another, which is hardly something that can be said about the majority of chart-topping pop songs making their way out of the woodwork this summer.
This vocal of Arina Mai’s, though a near-whisper in a couple of key spots, is chill-inducing no matter how many times I try breaking it down. There’s nothing forced about this performance, and if I didn’t know any better, I would have guessed that she were at least three or four full-length albums into her career by now. She has the swagger of an artist who has no qualms about getting a little crazy in the recording studio, and her disciplined attitude is something that all of her peers – mainstream, indie and otherwise – could really stand to learn something from.
I wasn’t aware of Arina Mai or her music before coming across “Get Closer” through a colleague in the industry, but now that I know what she’s working with in the booth, I definitely will be looking out for more content bearing her moniker in the future. Pop music is a polarizing genre to say the least, but when it comes to melodicism this rich and accessible, you don’t need to be a hardcore bubblegum-type fan to fall head over heels in love with the artistry behind the fireworks. Mai has my attention, and soon enough, I think she’ll have yours as well.
by Bethany Page