The first thing that stood out to me was the warmth of this song. The synths effectively punctuate the vocals after every lyric, which I love. It’s a very chill track which reminds me a lot of something Imogen Heap might make. The vocoder introduced at 1:03 is a neat backup element, and I appreciate how it progresses almost naturally throughout the song, making the piece dreamy-sounding.
Since the song’s pace itself is slower and relaxed, however, the random trills in the singing appear out-of-place and forced. When I first heard them, I got the sense that they were more vocal acrobatics than anything and, for me, don’t add much to the melody. (To his credit, Zip’s voice is near-perfect pitch!) I would have enjoyed hearing Zip add a bit more variety, note-wise; although they were in the right key, they sounded almost monotonous after a while, like you didn’t enjoy singing them. I know the song IS about rainfall, after all, but there didn’t seem to be much emotion behind the vox. The syllables are especially pronounced as well, which made me focus more on your words rather than their meaning (“sever-t mind”, “what it Twants to send”).
The middle part was also confusing. The pseudo-rapping took the song in a strange direction (understandably, rapping into a slower BPM can be tricky!), and the mix got a little off-balance here as I heard distortion coming from the vocal end. I also would have liked Steam to add a smoother bassline to blend more easily with the vox, instead of the deep blips that stand out a bit more than the rest of the elements. The song gets muddy here for me, as there’s too much going on with the music and vocals at the same time. As a listener I wanted to come up for air with some sort of break in the singing for relief.
I love both of your styles, and I understand you wanted to go in a new direction with this piece, and that’s something very commendable (I even tend to stick with one or two genres myself). I felt it could have used more “heavenly” aspects – less classic-Steam xylophone and punchy bass, higher harmonies, and an ending that didn’t include a sudden seventh (perhaps a major chord here, as it would finalize the track).
Overall, the singing and music were produced well, and I can tell there was a lot of time put into it. It was definitely something I haven’t heard from either of you before, and probably one of the most unique songs I’ve heard in awhile. Thanks for making it.
NGADM Round One Score: 7.2