Caller ID: Track Roundup — 10/3/21

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

3 album covers featured in the story

check1” — umru, Tommy Cash, 645AR

Instead of "rabbit rabbit", the first words out of your mouth on October 1st should have been "Check one-two check one"! The newest bop from umru, Tommy Cash, and 645AR - titled "check1" - was released by PC Music at nearly one in the morning this past Friday. A mere eighteen hours later, the 22 year old producer was opening for Charli XCX at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. The opening synths in "check1" are sharp and chaotic, as though a knife is being drawn back and forth across the strings of a violin. The baseline is pulverizing and erratic. Cash’s vocals in the chorus sound like they are echoing up from some kind of a dungeon. The atmosphere of this song is intense and somewhat threatening.

Cash’s Estonian snarl makes for a nice contrast with 645AR’s signature high pitched inflection. The Bronx-based rapper doesn’t squeak quite as much as he does in some of his most popular songs, but his vocal delivery is still totally unique. The chorus is made up of raunchy automotive metaphors, gesturing at the desire for one’s partner’s ability to hold their own sexually, or for them to take over control. The lyrics proclaim both greatness and independence on the part of Tommy Cash and 645AR, but of course, don't take themselves too seriously. Cash raps one of my favorite lines in third person right after 645AR’s first verse; “Where the fuck is Tommy? Uh / I think he’s too drunk / Who the fuck gave Tommy all the skunk?” The combination of intensity and humor makes for an entertaining and totally satisfying listening experience.

— Perry Gregory

Cobra” — That Kid

That Kid stuns (again) on new single “Cobra,” signaling a new and exciting era for him. “Cobra” is That Kid’s third release in 2021, and they just keep getting better. The song contains the stunning production and dramatic lyrics he has become known for, and yearns for a lover in the nighttime, telling them to “slither” in his bed “like a cobra.” This song is a worthy addition to That Kid’s discography, and if his new era is reminiscent of this song, we’re in for a treat. That Kid continues to shape himself into a true popstar with every release.

— Allison Harris

Lullaby” — Miss Madeline

So, you might be asking “who even is Miss Madeline,” and normally I’d have an answer for you. Truth is, she really defies all expectations. Diving into her catalogue as of late, there are nothing but gems to uncover in her discography of dancey, turn-of-the-century pop bops. Imagine self-titled Britney era surging energy, but with modern sensibilities towards production.

Madeline (that’s Miss Madeline to you) serves us a sentimental guitar in “Lullaby” to pair with her breathless vocals, establishing her as the premier bad bitch on the block. The song’s boom/clap rhythm paves way for the excellent pre-choruses, both playful and deviant. Combining the glitzy, starlit glam of the blaring digitizations to clash well against its rustic guitar helps carry us seamlessly from start to finish. Texturally, Miss Madeline weaves such intoxicating tracks that you’d think you were just stumbling out of the club with her.

— Dylan Robinson

check1” — umru, Tommy Cash, 645AR (yes, again)

I didn't realize someone was already covering this song for this month's Caller ID, but I don't care because it goes so insanely hard. Harrowing electronic track “check1,” featuring vocals from Estonia’s Tommy Cash and the Bronx’ 645AR, will rattle your brain around in your head. The industrial-flavored beat accents Cash and 645AR’s unconventional deliveries, swallowing them up between clangs and 808s. With this song, umru bottles the charisma of each artist and adds his production style’s signature glitches. “check1” is a winning collaboration for these artists, and is likely to become a favorite in each’s repertoire.

— Allison Harris

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