Tuesday, October 06, 2020

The New Consistent: Single Review

The New Consistent is Ben Ramsay, a West Midlands based artist who has been keen on making quality music for some time. Ramsay has honed his style over the years, developing a distinct vocal delivery that resembles a candid story being told by a good friend over a pint. There’s an essence of familiarity and earnestness to his work that gives weight to the tales he records.

Around a year ago, The New Consistent (abbreviated hereafter) declared his artistic identity when he released a self-titled track that echoed the musical styles and ideas of The Streets and Loyle Carner. Since then, a steady stream of tracks have popped up, helping to consolidate and expand on his sound. 

Now, towards the end of quite a difficult year for many, TNC has returned to treat us with new single Turn Off All The Lights...

His latest song could be TNC’s most fully formed outing yet. By bringing together an intriguing mix of synthesizer and piano, over the top of a dragging drum beat, the mood of a rainy afternoon is evoked. The instrumentals are downbeat and immediately nostalgic, like the background music of an old fantasy game. An exploration of TNC’s Soundcloud shows a willingness to experiment with different styles, figuring out what works best for him. There are even a few recent ‘remixes’ that serve more as homages to beat inspirations such as Rejjie Snow and Slowthai (I’d point you in the direction of the slick piano riff on 1992).

The lyrics follow TNC’s tried and tested blend of heartfelt and witty. Beginning the track with an observation on video game mechanics doubling as a metaphor for adversity in life is a move not many artists would think to make. The repeated line “Wait a minute I’d like to cash out please” anchors the track around the feelings of escapism and introspection that many are faced with in each day of the modern world. 

It wouldn't be right to leave out Ramsay’s Midlands accent either, which flavours his words and cadence. Accents are seldom appreciated in music, and it’s refreshing to hear poetic voices from Birmingham and the Midlands that are unafraid to embrace their naturality.

Turn Off All The Screens is available on streaming platforms from October 2nd.

- Huwen Edwards


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