After hearing some of my own particularly subdued songs a friend of mine once told me that music “was allowed” to have melodrama.
And while that is true and a good, generally speaking I still feel that subtlety is underrated. Or that its intentional utilization opens up avenues for other elements to be exposed or focused upon.
The understated can enhance the periphery, operating as its own aesthetic that presents but does not undercut or distract from a greater text or subtext. In this way the work is allowed to fold back on itself, and, in that muted intentional consistency, acts in elevating the emotional impact further.
The works of Yorgos Lanthimos in film work in this way. All characters assume a subdued, detached delivery and the resonance elaborates from small fluctuations within this new scale of framing. Small vibrations in feeling and action take on monumental significance. The contrast unveils and heightens that which would otherwise be at least partially obscured or overshadowed.
Subtraction is sometimes addition where perception is concerned. FLOWERTOWN’s “RCP” is working in a similar way. The idiosyncratic phrasing, creeping and cooing, in either variant of the spectral dual vocals, favors the subterranean, glacial structure of the track. The focus is shifted in an illuminating manner. It’s done with great craft all throughout the Theresa Street EP.