10 Dec 2019

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Chris Bates - Single Review: Chasing Kites

15 Nov 2019 // A review by Ben Ruegg

Chasing Kites from Chris Bates is song that pulls a lot of different influences and takes the listener on a smooth ride through turbulent times.

One thing that is evident from the first vocal lines are how smooth and silky they are. Perfectly mixed above the cinematic backdrop of sound, it is exactly the sort of vocal you would expect from modern pop. The delivery is sincere and the performance is one of restraint during the verse. Just as the song gets to the chorus, a slight drop away opens up for a little more intensity in the vocal performance. Chris showcases his voice in many ways with a little touch of falsetto or head voice when needed. I was really waiting for a bit more intensity in the vocal to help boost the song a little more, but this never happened. It is a minor detail that does not detract from the song, but something that with a live performance Chris could explore.

It is clear that time and effort has been put in the production of this track, helmed by up and coming producer EDY. A lot of what makes the song tick along is the use of different synth sounds that do not over do the song, they simply await your attention. When you hear the different parts on multiple listens you will know there are nods to EDM, groups from the 80's and also French Duo, M83.

Overall, this is a solid track that could fit in nicely in today's world of pop, and one that should be on the radio. Catchy, well produced and sung. Great work.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Chris Bates

Described as New Zealand’s 'pop prince' by his peers, Chris Bates is a 21-year-old singer known for his silky smooth vocals and intricate pop melodies. Bates’ influences range from artists such as Charlie Puth and Bruno Mars, to older artists like Phil Collins and U2.
Hailing from a childhood background of classical violin, much to his mother’s dismay Bates made the switch to pop music at age 13. “It’s my Dad’s fault.” Bates remembers long family car trips in which his family would listen to his dad’s Phil Collins and U2 CDs. It was during these car rides that Bates grew a deep love for songwriting and pop music.
Bates began writing a string of songs that he began to perform at open mic nights around Auckland, testing the waters. Entering a variety of competitions including Smokefree Rockquest and busking regularly, Bates started to become known in the Auckland music scene. In 2015 he was recognized with the ‘Rising Star Award’ from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand, joining winners including Annie Crummer, Lizzie Marvelly and Lisa Crawley.

Opening for artists such as Paige, Bates’ ability to hold the crowd with his funky yet relatable tunes has been much loved. Bates released his debut single, Say The Word on Spotify and all online platforms in September 2018, produced by EDY. Bates’ musical partnership with EDY has been such since the pair met at Auckland University. Bates’ pop sensibilities are well matched with EDY’s darker pop, R&B infused vibes.

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