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Synth Single Review: "DOWN (feat. Dreddbeat)" by Scott Toddy

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


DOWN is a track in which varied, complex layers of synth all intertwine with a strong bass line and huge drum sounds to create a rich listening experience. On top of this, it features introspective and expressive lyrics and strongly performed vocals by Dreddbeat.

Caressing, reverberating synths move in oscillating lines through the open air of the track as the unevenly throbbing beat and deep bass move through under the emotive vocals. A high, distorted line of roaming and twisting synth moves with a hard, shadowy sonic pulse underneath it.

A regular, constantly pulsing synth shudders out into the music as a buzzing edge of sound slices over the other elements of the track. The beat breaks down and an elevated, metallic fluting pulse rises and falls before layers of undulating, hard-hitting synth moves in nervous, lines. There are many contrasting layers to the music that all interweave underneath the expressive vocals and lyrics.

The bass cuts in slicing, deep lines underneath the other sounds and the drums are just massive as a tight, raised synth line rises and falls above it all. The drums keep up their hard hitting beat along with a hollow, open-sounding percussion instrument before silence falls.

There’s a complex mixture of emotions expressed in this track, reflecting the challenges of growing older and becoming disillusioned. The narrator talks about coming from a place where he thought “living the lie is all I’d ever do” and that all he’d ever know was living in grief.

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He asks, “Dear god, do you know what I went through?” As he talks of “cold nights on the streets feeling sinful” and says that he doesn’t want to live in agony. There’s a resigned sense to the lyrics when he talks about no longer chasing “the love that I could never give”and stopped dreaming of “the lives that I could never live.”

Harsh reality has set in as he speaks of not wanting to live in a fantasy. He talks about he and his friends and adds, “When we were young, we’d be dreaming up big, planning our lives” but now they are “no longer kids” and are headed “down, down, down.”

He says that when they were young, they thought they’d be rich but have come to realize the lie in that, now he only sees everything headed downwards.

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