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Synthpop Single Review: "Featherlite" by darwinmcd and Mark Bebb

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


Featherlite, darwinmcd’s collaboration with Mark Bebb (from the synth pop band Shelter), is a song about yearning for unconditional love. It combines delicate piano lines, drifting synths and a strong beat along with Mark Bebb’s soaring vocals and his song writing skills.

I was drawn to Bebb’s full, rich voice that moves strongly across the song’s musical canvas. The vocal melody he sings is full of warmth despite the somewhat melancholy nature of the lyrics which suits the synth pop feel of the rest of the music.

The mixture of sweeping synth sounds, arpeggios that spin through the music and a surging beat produced a feeling of energy and glow to the music. That lead synth shines out over the deep bass and driving drums underneath it.

Mark Bebb’s expressive vocals are foregrounded on the song with the other elements of the music there in a supportive role. I think that approach worked well overall. I have one minor gripe in that the volume of the vocals is a touch high for my taste, but it isn’t anything that detracts from the song as a whole.

Bebb has written a song about growing tired of always seeking out affection, struggling to find it and always having to be the one who gives. This is well encapsulated in the lines, “I’ve never had somebody who cares for me, not really. I’ve never really had that luxury autonomously. Every act of kindness was led by me.”

There is a thirst for being healed and protected in the words, “What I need is someone to step in front of the sun, where I see them shield me. What I want is someone deflecting all that may come to break me.”

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The yearning for affection is clear in the lines, “Someone to heal me with a featherlite touch, make me feel so much, be just like Heaven with a feather like touch.”

Ultimately the feeling of struggle comes across in the words, “I’ve always had to be the stronger one. I’ve never been able to just let go, and know I’ll always be caught.”

Featherlite represents a sound and feeling that I think was well-done overall. I like the approach that darwinmcd has taken to the music and Mark Bebb adds a nice pop sensibility and a strong vocal performance to the track. I am hoping this won’t be the last time that the pair collaborate on music because I enjoyed the sound that they created together.

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