With a melodic electric guitar sizzle to lead the way, Tiny World kick-start a groove-happy jam in “Follow You” that could well be the most addictive number on their self-titled rookie album. Although only twenty seconds in total length, the instrumental introduction that washes over us at the start of “Follow You” sets the mood for the song soon to follow, but it by no means clues us into just how much of a swaggering pop energy we’re going to discover just around the next bend. Vocals haven’t even entered the picture yet, and already Tiny World have us on the edge of our seats, eagerly anticipating whatever bolt of lightning might befall us next in this compositionally rollercoaster-like (though ultimately accessible) riff rocker.
The vocal harmony that awaits us in the first stanza of lyrics in “Follow You” is warm, bright and sugary, standing in bitter conflict with the hollow instrumentation in the foreground, the most pointed of which (the guitars and drums) resonates with a gothic tone more than it does standardized adult contemporary melodies. Our attention is drawn back and forth between the verse and the less than virtuosic swing of the band, but it never feels like we’re absorbing a droning, unevenly arranged pop song. On the contrary, the stylistic differences that are essentially forced together in “Follow You” allow for us to appreciate the expressiveness of each individual component in the music; the strings, the vocals, even the bassline itself – everything here has something to contribute to the narrative.
There’s a lot of polish on this mix, but I don’t think that Tiny World’s first well-publicized single was conceived with the intention of winning our favor strictly on the strength of its sparkling production and perfectly-leveled EQ. I still detect quite a bit of grit at the bottom of the mix, alluding to a grainy, rock n’ roll edginess that desperately wants to be acknowledged amidst the swaying grooves of the drums. This isn’t an act that wants to blend in with the masses – if there’s one thing we can learn from “Follow You,” it’s that Tiny World want to make music that doesn’t fit into any one specific box, instead preferring to chase unique sounds and fluid melodies that make sense to anyone who loves a balanced harmony.
“Follow You” crosses the finish line with far fewer fireworks than it first begins with, but to be frank, it doesn’t need a fantastical conclusion to leave behind a serious statement about the musicians who gave it life in the studio. Tiny World are, to some extent, a pair of artists who are as true blue to the psychedelically-inspired folk-rock model as they are the adult contemporary pop conceptualism that produced iconic discographies like that of Steve Winwood and Bryan Adams. Their sound isn’t the easiest to classify under conventional genre parameters, but this is perhaps what makes them as interesting as they are. They’re not looking to join a movement, but rather create a movement of their own through simplistic songcraft and eclectic arrangements befitting of the audience they’re looking to please.