The intertwining vocals of Flume and May-A in the new single “Say Nothing” are indeed stunning on their own, but when layered amidst the discordant instrumentation in the foreground of the master mix, they become a hypnotic beacon through which we can learn a lot about both of these impressive artists. Flume’s latest release brings on a worthy collaborator in May-A cosmetically, and as far as their aesthetical experimentation goes, this is a performance that puts both of their skillsets to the test – with the two players ultimately emerging from “Say Nothing” having said an awful lot about pop music in general.
This single was structured to be cerebral, with the mixing of the vocals perhaps serving as the most mind-bending component of the hook. While I would have liked just a little less pushiness from the bassline in the chorus, I really appreciate the overall fluidity of the instruments beyond the percussion, which is the most rigid component of the track. There’s nothing here that sounds unnecessary or placed in the arrangement just for dramatic effect, and next to most of the pop I’ve been hearing out of the underground recently, the ambitiousness of this framework is something to write home about.
The music video for “Say Nothing” is quite the extension of the eccentric points in the composition, if not a reimagining of the narrative through dreamy imagery capable of being as nightmarishly surreal as it is compositely colorful where it matters the most. I don’t normally say this, but this is an instance where an overwhelming layout is a lot more conducive to the story these players are looking to tell than anything more conservative and mainstream would have been, and it’s something I want to see Flume toy with again soon.
Lyrically speaking, “Say Nothing” is enigmatic to no end, but I don’t think it lacks any sense of emotional depth because of this. Contrarily, I can see where a song devoid of conventionality at the verse could express so much more to us with its textural and tonal presence than it ever would in a straightforward setting, and I believe this is where Flume was at when he developed the foundation of the track. May-A adds a definitive splash of personality, and between the two of them the harmonies they’re able to cultivate at the front of the mix alone make this a worthwhile listen in my book.
Flume and May-A are on top of their game in this single and music video, both of which should be considered must-see content for indie pop fans this month. “Say Nothing,” despite its title, suggests a lot of future boundary-pushing on behalf of these two artists, and even if this is one of the only times they share the studio, I have a strong gut feeling that what they’ve put up in this performance is going to be potent enough among listeners to win them a lot of affection and long-term support from around the underground.
David Lee Marshall