19 Feb 2020
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Human Confusion - Single Review: Overwhelmed

07 Jun 2019 // A review by Jamie Denton

Human Confusion, a Dunedin-based electronica duo, have recently released three separate, distinct, and musically diverse versions of their first single entitled Overwhelmed. Comprised of seasoned musicians Miriam Leslie (Spinster/Fray) and Elenor Rayner (Robots in Love), Human Confusion describe themselves as a “perfect mix of dance-worthy grooves and rich melodies”. Such a description may seem like a lofty ambition, but on this single (in its many forms) Human Confusion absolutely nail it.

The first version of Overwhelmed is credited purely to Human Confusion, and is a fascinating, lush electronic track resplendent with pulsing bass, punctuated by a symphony of electronic bleeps and squeals, and finished with strong, smooth vocal gymnastics. This track dances nicely in the grey between electro-soul, and alternative-electro-pop. The panning effects on some of the electronic elements is masterfully done, sounding fantastic on headphones, and avoiding the common pitfall that some panning effects have – which is where such effects become overwhelming, slightly disorientating, and overly obvious/distracting from the track. None of these common problems are evident, showing a clear understanding and mastery over all of the sonic elements of this track.

The second track is remixed/reconceptualized by Fray, a pseudonym of vocalist Miriam Leslie, presents a more musically stripped back version. The vocals really carry this version, with minimalist instrumentation (relying on a simple, but effective, rhythm track and synths to supply the underlying structure), and this is a fantastic vehicle for Miriam’s voice. A more chilled out vibe from the other versions, there is a fascinating suspense within the track – an unanswered question, or desire, to become more musically dense – that leaves the listener hanging on to the end in anticipation.

The third, and final, version of Overwhelmed is Robots in Love’s, an alias of producer/programmer Elenor Rayner, chance to remix and reconsider the track, and as such is a wonderfully refreshing mix of electronic melodies and beats. This time, the vocals are stripped back, largely serving to punctuate specific moments in the rich electronic melodies and beats. This is an interesting approach, as by the third version of any song, the repetition of vocals can become problematic. Human Confusion deal with this all too frequent problem innovatively, keeping Overwhelmed (Robots in Love) fresh and vibrant in spite of its placement as the third version of the same track. This version is also much shorter – seeing nearly a full minute trimmed – keeping it lean and tight.

Check them out, and try to pick your favourite version, I know that I really can’t choose, as I love all of the versions and they feel so very different!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Human Confusion

Strong velvety vocals of Spinster's Miriam Leslie, mixed with lush electronica produced by Elenor Rayner of Robots In Love. Emerging from the heart of Dunedin's diverse music culture, Human Confusion is the perfect mix of dance-worthy grooves and rich melodies. They love a stonkin' bass and the joy they get from performing their creations is hard not to catch.




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