Terms such as “brilliant” are overused in the music blogosphere in the same manner that superlatives are overused by sportscasters. “Greatest,” “best’ and other superlatives are thrown around so often in sports that they don’t have much impact, other than to negatively reflect on the credibility of the speaker. So, Indie Obsessive has a strong preference to stay away from terms like “brilliant.”
The arranging and the mixing of “Drifting” are brilliant. The Chicago/Minneapolis trio ON AN ON should be centered on the Indie radar screen.
Listening to the song, there are a number of nuances for which the most appropriate reaction is to appreciate the time and effort that went into “Drifting,” even after the song was written. This is not a song that went quickly from paper to final product. And it’s not a song that grows tiresome even after repeated play.
Looking at the Soundcloud waveform, there are four occasions of quick amplitude drops. After three of them, instruments support the vocal line “And if I stay” (at time marks 1:13, 2:17 and 3:27). For the first of the three, a simple guitar is synchronized with the four words, “And if I stay.” In comparison, after the second drop, the guitar is more intense and a piano jumps in at the word, “stay.” That foreshadows the exit from the final drop, when the vocals and instruments are more forceful and the song becomes more rhythmic.
But the best exit from an applitude drop occurs at 2:44, when a crescendo leads to an emotional shout of “I gotta get out!”