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Retro Reverb Records Top 3 May 2021

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


1. Flynn Eskers - Cypher’s Revenge:

An ultra deep, circular and growing bass pattern opens the track with rumbling weight and a pounding beat begins to grow with it. A sharp-edged line of deep sound moves under an elevated synth with a string-like quality and a technological feeling that carries a roaming, wandering melody. There’s a feeling of something lost and a little aching hidden in that melody too.

The track moves into a segment where a synth calls out in a more triumphant voice with gentler arpeggios circling behind it. A pattern of ethereal, round synth trickles in the background as deep wells of bass add weight and the beat shapes the track. The dense, glowing main melody soars up over the throb of the beat, rich and full, glittering as it hits a high and moves back to trickles of xylophone-like sound and then silence.

2. Your Friend Esteves - The Girl

A buzzing synth pulse moves into the song along with full, caressing arpeggios that sweep through over the buzzing, gritty sound below them. The lead melody comes in carried on an elevated, glittering synth. It is a melody that is warm, uplifting and full of hope as it cries out over the grittier edge of synth, massive drums that slowly pulse and a deep well of bass. This is a song brimming with emotion.

An aching secondary melodic line cries into the track, more melancholy and wandering as the strong, emotive vocals soar out. There’s such a yearning in the words and the glimmering light of the lead melody wraps around and through the music and the vocals over the throbbing drumbeat. The track begins to wind down with an oscillating, twisting line of hollow sound with more delicate clouds behind it.

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3. Falco Fury - Like A Dream feat. Megan McDuffee

Gently swelling synths move behind Megan McDuffee’s typically high quality vocal performance to open Like A Dream. The celestial synths swirl and grow while the solid drums pulse, adding forward motion to the music. A slightly buzzy low synth moves behind Megan McDuffee’s strong, emotive vocal performance.

There’s a gliding, ethereal feeling to the song and the drums fill the sonic space of the track. The lyrics of this song speak of melancholy and aching emotion before they resolve into a more upbeat message as the narrator awakes from a shadowed dream. The overall feel of this song reflects those lyrics well.

A pan pipe synth carries a gently caressing and drifting melody while the harder edge of the buzzing, low synth balances the more flowing, delicate parts of the song. There's a tremulous ache in Megan McDuffee’s voice which is reflected in the climbing flow of medium high, light-filled synths.

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