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Synth Single Review: "Stranger Times (Darklands Mix) by Machina X

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


Machina X’s Stranger Times (Darklands Mix) combines a tremulous piano melody with emotive singing and engaging lyrics. The song begins with a trembling, delicate piano cascade that calls out into open space.

The left hand piano part is tinged with shadow while Machina X’s airy, expressive voice comes in. Sweeping sonic rushes echo out into space as the piano tumbles and trickles. Machina X’s voice gains power and energy as she emotes, the whole song moving into open space. The piano wanders and her voice moves in a whispering rush.

The piano weaves together the left hand’s weight and the right hand's elevated, tripping notes. The vocals feel powerful as they express the lyrics, while the lower piano part contributing more depth and weight. Machina X’s voice is clear and clean while we return to the fragile, higher piano notes and end.

The narrator talks about how she always sings “when I feel light blue” as she thinks of the “highs and lows” she and the song’s subject have shared. They “still share a room” but each of them has “diff’rent views.” Our narrator asks if the other person feels scared and adds “ ‘cos I do, now I do.”

In the chorus, the narrator says “watch us now…feel us now…” as they run through empty streets and their hearts throb, their lungs breathe. Each line of the chorus ends in the phrase “in these stranger times.” The chorus concludes as our narrator says, “trust them now – they tell us that we’ll be fine…”

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The narrator repeats that while she breathes, she hopes. She goes on to say that “hope is where the heart is” and that the “glitch is in our matrix.” In spite of it all, she concludes by saying that she knows we’ll get through this.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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