Caller ID: Track Roundup — 11/20/20

Welcome to Caller ID, Ringtone Mag's biweekly track review column that emphasizes songs by smaller artists!

The album covers from the story

crowd - umru remix” — Silver Sphere, umru

Umru does a lovely job remixing “crowd” from silver sphere’s second EP all my boyfriends. The EP itself is already a bit hyperpop but more-so electropop and bedroom pop. However, its classification is unnecessary, as it is truly an airy and soft look into Silver’s love life. The remix’s production feels like SOPHIE x JIMMY EDGAR lite. With industrial clangs over an animated Silver singing ever so softly, the song feels as if it’s going back to the roots of PC music with femininity, vulnerability and repetition. The song begins with chants of “no no no’s” before SIlver opens up about her feelings of a boy that slipped out of her grip. The chorus continues with her chopped up vocals stuttering “cro-ra-ra-ra-a-rowd.” It is most certainly a banger and I wish I could be in the club right now dancing my ass off to this song.

— Ezra Blanchar

I’m The One” — Abby Cole

“If you hold me to the sun,” Abby Cole whispers gently, “you’ll see I’m not like everyone.” But one could bury themselves in a cave and still realize: Abby Cole is something special. The producer/singer/engineer/apparent polymath weaves a beautiful, almost New Order-esque backing track together with soft, floaty, yet deceptively menacing vocals, creating a chilling, incredibly cold environment for the listener. The tone is indeed, as Cole describes it “[badass], yet vulnerable” as she floats over the thumping, rolling track, pleading: “Say you want me, say you need me.” To complement the song upon release, Cole even released a visual consisting of nothing more than a black and white flame with the song’s lyrics superimposed. Simple, yet striking!

This is Abby Cole’s third single of the year, and although it’s a stark departure from both “The Speed of Time” (which we checked out in the Oct. 9 edition of Caller ID) and “Below It All,” it’s still a great listen, and more than worthy of a spot on your late-night driving playlist.

— Canary Autumn

Six (umru remix)” — Kacy Hill, Umru

Umru completely reinvents a beautiful and soft Kacy Hill song with his remix of “Six,” doing what he does best with high-pitched vocals overly laying choppy “oohs” and “aahs.” With loud bass and electro beats, umru has transformed this track into something poppy and fun. Honestly, I think my favorite part is not the song itself but the cover art. It’s so unique and simple but wacky like the rest of hyperpop. The track “SIx” is from Kacy Hill’s sophomore album Is It Selfish If We Talk About Me Again, and it reminds me of questioning oneself and others.

— Ezra Blanchar

movinglikeazombie - remix” — ericdoa, umru, SEBii, angelus, kmoe, Lewis Grant, savepoint, Tony Velour, emotegi, d0llywood1, 4kmirage

First played at PC Music's Pop Crypt event, umru’s remix of “movinglikeazombie” blew minds. Cyphers aren't anything new to the hyperpop community, but 10 of the scene's biggest stars and up-and-comers (umru, SEBii, angelus, kmoe, Lewis Grant, savepoint, Tony Velour, emotegi, d0llywood1 and 4kmirage) linking to do a rendition of an already popular track was unheard of. Clocking in at a monstrous 7 minutes, 45 seconds, "movinglikeazombie - remix" does the impossible. It manages to stay interesting the entire time.

All 10 of the new remixers bring something unique to the table — from SEBii's floaty, yet confident, almost Rico Nasty-esque delivery to 4kmirage's bitcrushed, autotuned, computer-esque, yet emotional outro verse. Though ericdoa's "three bands, on me" flow is parroted throughout the track, it is never taken in the same direction, instead serving as a launch point for other ideas. angelus decides to spend her verse asserting her dominance over her contemporaries while Lewis Grant references everything from umru's own producer tag to Soulja Boy's "Kiss Me thru the Phone.” In the hands of almost any other producer, a project like this would be difficult to pull off, but umru’s skillful production deftly swerves between pure-hearted amity and bittersweet aggression to suit the vocalist. This is a long but EXTREMELY gratifying release — if you’ve got time to kill, three bands on you or a desire to lose your mind for eight minutes, you need to hear this.

- Canary Autumn

Far Away - Laptop Funeral Remix” — tanner bananer, Laptop Funeral

Tanner bananer’s To Live in the Sun was criminally overlooked, robbed of the attention that it deserves in all of its varied, strange, deeply personal glory. Released nine months ago (that’s before Ringtone even existed!) to this day, the top track on SoundCloud is album closer “Far Away” with a diminutive 177 plays. You should feel ashamed of yourself for sleeping on him and then promptly go and make it up to him by not only streaming To Live in the Sun, but also the newly released remix album, Under the Same Sky: Some Sunny Remixes.

A particular standout from the project is Laptop Funeral’s remix of the aforementioned “Far Away”. The original song, gorgeous and vulnerable as it is, is the sort of thing that deeply affects the soul, something that one would put on during a heavy storm in a dimly lit room. Laptop Funeral’s remix, however, adds a certain warmth and comfort, layering soft, sliding, slightly off kilter synth lines with tanner’s vocals, guitar, piano, and snare from the original to create a sort of space where the listener can feel at home. Somewhere where they can be at peace, if only for a fleeting moment before the song ends as it builds to noise and collapses to silence with Laptop Funeral’s final verse: “I miss my mom, my dad, but they’ll be proud of the girl I’m gonna be.”

- Canary Autumn

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