There’s an ocean of intensity just waiting to come flowing from your speakers in a deluge of decadence this December, and if you want access to its cathartic waves, all you need to do is turn up the new single “Girls & Boys” from emerging pop singer and songwriter Michael Ghould. Covering Blur for his official sophomore release, Ghould personifies the swaggering popstar of old in this performance while leaning-in to a side of the surrealism trend among indie players that I haven’t heard many artists employ with much success. Nothing is conventional or standard about his brand – and, to be frank, I like it that way.
“Girls & Boys” has a pretty recognizable groove if you’ve heard the song before, but it’s almost as though this player wanted to go out of his way to meld it into something just a bit more anxious for his rendition. There’s an urgency under his lyrics that just wasn’t there for the Blur version, and when we’re closing in on the last twenty seconds of the song, it’s as though we’re about to be dragged asunder by the sheer weightiness of the bassline and the vocal (which become integrated by the conclusion of the track). This is a thrill-ride, and once you’re on, there’s really no getting off.
I didn’t know about this young up and comer before getting turned on to this second single and its companion music video, but judging from the ambitiousness of his career thus far I would have to say that he hasn’t been getting the sort of buzz he deserves. “Girls & Boys” is a hard song to cover, but he never shows any hesitation here – this guy is all muscle and melodicism and no self-consciousness or social irreverence, which indeed makes his music quite the find this month.
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