Saturday, November 26, 2022

These People reach new ‘Levels’ with latest single

Long Beach-based band These People have released their impressive new single ‘Levels’. As part of their latest EP, ‘In Place of Time’, this track stands out for its intriguing rhythms, cryptic yet accessible lyrics, and amazing soundscape. 

The closest one can get to pinning this single down to a genre is psychedelic rock, however, this would be a gross oversimplification of the track. There are elements of psychedelic rock in ‘Levels’, certainly, but there are also strings that mimic those of The Beatles in the height of their experimentation phase. There are beats that would inspire admiration in any aspiring drummers and lyrics which show that sometimes, simplicity is the key to good songwriting. 

Levels’ comes in with a vibrato-heavy guitar and the sound of wind whistling made even more effective having been recorded in stereo. For the next three minutes, These People lead us through incredibly complex musical moments with 9/8 beats, impressive string arrangements, and a rhythmic bass line that keeps the song pulsing along.

The vocals serve merely to underline the trance-like 70s feel of the song. The lyrics are short and punchy but manage to also convey some deep existential issues of identity, most notably in the hook: “We are not who we are / One of one / Strangers to ourselves”.

That being said, the vocals are really only a small part of ‘Levels’. Never a dull moment, These People don’t linger in any one place for too long; this keeps the listeners engaged while skirting the line of disaster. With a song this complicated, it would be so easy to go over the edge of complexity for its own sake, creating a disjointed piece. These People, however, stop just before the brink, creating instead a varied song that is unforgettable to music experts and novices alike.

Overall, it’s an incredibly accomplished track and listeners would be better off after experiencing it. ‘Levels’ is out on all streaming platforms now. 

Chloe Boehm


Image: ‘Levels’ Official Single Cover

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