Tamar Berk – “Shadow Clues”

This rather out there, independent entry is an example of a well-layered, thought-out track and a demonstration of simple but effective songwriting. It’s dainty beginning verse comprising entirely of a melancholic guitar riff brings a nostalgic feel of though you’re listening through your headphones, neck-crooked against the car window on a long drive. In that sense, the track also uncannily acts as a soundtrack that could score a coming-of-age or neo-noir flick that opens with an establishing shot of a an empty road winding through a tall forest underneath a gloomy, rainy sky.

The introduction of the vocals, however, separate from the chilled, lo-fi soundscape and attune the track with a rougher, more rushed feel. This, in turn, changes the dynamic of the song, which in honesty was rather unneeded, provided that the beautiful simplicity of the guitar alone could be listened to for the track’s entirity. That doesn’t take away from music in any sense, and only gears the listener up for the more climactic turn toward the end.

Pushed along effectively with the addition of a grumbling bass and a dulled, far-off base kick which grows in intensity, the track starts to boil with anticipation and surprisingly enthrals the listener with a crescendo of drums and a higher-pitched guitar turn which is a standout highlight. A greater emphasises on the atmospheric backing vocals that were gradually inputted earlier really raise things to a more harmonious level, and ensures the song engages on more than just an instrumental front. A solid submission all round.