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Popcaan- “Everything Nice”

everything nice

 

Over the past two years Popcaan- a onetime protoje of the Vybz Kartel- has established himself as a major force in dancehall, crossing over to the American market with hits like “Party Shot” and “Only Man She Want.” While both of those tracks were fairly conventional- if particularly tuneful and pop-smart- dancehall, the style of “Everything Nice,” Popcaan’s latest single, and the first from his upcoming album for Brooklyn’s Mixpak records, is a definite departure. Produced by the Dubbel Dutch, the track effectively denies the frenetic pace and rhythmic density  that defines much of modern dancehall. Instead, it’s more of a melancholy slow burn, the subdued drums gradually growing in intensity between gaseous synth chords above and the bass presence below. Around this, Popcaan works the emotive quality present in his voice, switching effortlessly between slow toasting and singing as the groove builds to a simmer without ever quite boiling over, layers of melody and rhythm continually adding until the whole thing hits a point of decisive non-climax and collapses back into itself in exhausted satisfaction. Will it kill in the club? Probably not. But in a world dominated by Drake’s pathos draped gaze, this stylistic move can’t be an entirely bad thing. Check it out!

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