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Synthpop Single Review: "Horizon" by Pensacola Mist

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


Pensacola Mist’s Horizon captures the tension and heightened emotion of the aftermath of a bank robbery gone wrong. Huge drums burst and solid bass throbs open the song along with gently glowing synths as Oliver Payn’s fragile, caressing vocals flow out. Melissa McNaught’s emotive voice joins the song as piano carries quick notes to accent the flowing, gliding vocal melody over the throbbing drums and bass. Daniel Lee Cox weaves the synths around the vocal performances to support and accent them.

The piano carries a delicate melodic pattern and the rising chorus adds richness to the music. The drums leap and burst as a shimmering arpeggio vaults out and now resonant, medium-high synth carries a glittering, uplifting melodic line in contrast to the darkness in the lyrics. Oliver Payn’s voice is deeply expressive and tender as the drifting chorus calls out again.

Deep bass and throbbing drums drive the music as an arpeggio glitters and whirls. The bright lead synth sings out a hopeful melody before breaking to deep bass and distant, higher synth. A round-sounding, rapid arpeggio ripples out and the gigantic drums batter before the chorus moves through the music again and the track ends.

The narrator’s anxiety is palpable as he talks about his partner while he is “pacing the floor of your basement, tracing my fingers through the dust.” He wonders what is facing them as the police are crooked with “their badges covered in rust.” Our narrator envisions his partner “beyond the horizon” where she stands under the moonlight “staring at the blood in her hair.”

The storyteller keeps reminding himself to play it cool, “keep your head under” adding “you’ve got the wrong number…I’m a newcomer.” He continues by talking about his partner’s impatience and having to chase her down “ ’til you give up.” Now he can feel his racing heart because “they found your footprints and the cash in the back of your truck.”

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© 2022 Karl Magi

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