2023 has been a really interesting and diverse year for pop music. From hip-hop to electronica, alternative rock, and even experimentalists in ambient and avant-garde music, there’s a lot for discriminating music buffs to be excited about at the moment, and in an ironic twist, underground upstart Sp8ce Owl is releasing a song that incorporates shades of all of the aforementioned genres in “Stepping into Eternity,” a radio-ready instrumental that comes to us soaked in restrained adrenaline and capable of divvying out sonic destruction whenever it’s played.
We start with a heavenly harmony and slip straight into a grinding beat. We’re given two choices right off the bat; fall under hypnosis from the swanky rhythm, or sink under the weight of its mammoth bassline. In less than sixty seconds, we’re transported to the center of a dreamscape, where Sp8ce Owl is captivating the crowd with his handsome beats and controlling the movement of everyone in sight with the cadence of his tempo.
This track is, at its nuts and bolts, a fusion of pop and a more erudite ambient style that isn’t afraid to up the tempo now and again. The space punk elements come into play on the ascent towards the climax, where Sp8ce Owl lets his hair down and goes straight angst-ridden with his bittersweet manipulation of the rhythm. The ambient foreplay that the bass dishes in the intro of the song is only the start of the cerebral backdrop’s evolution, which lasts the duration of the track and climaxes in a kaleidoscopic finish.
It’s an ambitious design, particularly for someone with as limited a profile in the mainstream as Sp8ce Owl, but that’s precisely what makes it such a noteworthy release for this artist. He isn’t trying to please the indie stalwarts that would spend the better part of a year analyzing a drum pattern or a bassline’s black-and-white rhythm; he’s playing directly to the fans, making the concept the crown jewel of his song, and refuting the very notion of replicating what his peers to the left and right of his sound are producing this summer.
Sp8ce Owl is no new kid on the block right now, and he’s rolling like a seasoned professional with a lot of experience under his belt in “Stepping into Eternity.” Whether you’re a student of the school of alternative electronica or not, you’re going to find something to dig in this single, and I say that knowing full well just how hard this generation of music fans is to please.
What I like most about Sp8ce Owl isn’t the way that he fashions his hybrids, or even how he approaches the recording process, but rather how he stokes a reaction out of his listeners. It isn’t just the drums that are raising all of the hairs on the back of my neck when I listen to this song; it’s the melodic interactions with the beats, the bassline’s swift strut, and even the muscle-bound master mix itself. To make it simple, this is a fearlessly engaging single that is more than worth your time this season.