Words by Ed King / Pics courtesy of Bona Fide Mangement
I’ll be honest, when I read ‘a hip-hop infused pop jam’ on the promo copy for Ed Geater’s latest single… my heart sank. It’s the first track of his new EP, IN, coming out on 1st November, and something about this six word description just didn’t sit right.
But why? Geater has embraced hip hop across his portfolio, whilst VITAL (the MC who appears with Geater on ‘Four Sides and a Pointed Top’) is an artist that will always grab my attention. And despite Geater’s six string melodies that have tugged at my heart so beautifully before, the man is an awesome beatboxer – as well as a seasoned champion of Birmingham’s roots and rhyme scene. If anything, I should be excited about the words ‘hip hop infused’ and complicit about it being a ‘pop jam’ (I have learned through heartbreak, long car journeys, endless decorating, and significant amounts of whiskey on my own that even I can find some pleasure in some ‘pop’). No, I can live with all of that. So, again, why the rock in my stomach…?
The truth is, right now, I’m a little scared of change. I’m tired, and in the hushed words of half of the Game of Thrones cast… winter is coming. My cultural and emtional shutters have come down and I want obvious familiarity, I want comfort. I want red wine in musical form. I don’t want to think, feel or challenge myself in any way. I want Ed Geater to do what Ed Geater has done for me before so I can lazily roll over and demand my brain cell absent belly rub. And OK, perhaps I had some issues at the term ‘pop jam’.
‘Four Sides and a Pointed Top’ starts with a short, echoed, guitar riff – quietly clinging to the background. Then an orchestrated cacophony slides into the spotlight, with Geater’s trademark acoustic splendour and broken beat backbone making the fire brighter and the hearth all the warmer for it. To continue the metaphor. But the real power and beauty comes at 16secs in, when Geater’s vocals strut confidently across the track – with a timbre comparatively unrecognised but sounding gloriously mature. I honestly had to double check it was him. It is. And it’s good, from growling deep to falsetto… it’s so, so good.
The music, melody and production then lead the charge. We are treated to a second verse, a second chorus. And just past the two minute mark VITAL steps in with a brief but quietly ferocious verse, delivered with the confidence of man in full control of his lyrics and voice. Tempered, beautifully tempered; it sits as the perfect jewel in this collaborative crown and a direct reminder of the vulnerability that even the strongest of us can suffer. It is also the beginning of the end, as all aspects are embraced for the final run and we are softly reminded that Geater has, in fact, been beatboxing throughout.
‘Four Sides and a Pointed Top’ is one of Ed Geater’s most accomplished tracks; it’s near perfect. The only real downside is that I’d like it to be longer, not as the uber-radio friendly 3min 21secs song that is has been gifted to us as. I’d also like to hear more from VITAL (their voices blend wonderfully) and the subject matter could be a little more prominent for a narrative junkie such as myself.
Plus, my future self is now wondering how it will sit alongside the other two tracks when Geater‘s IN EP is released at the beginning of November. But that’s the strategist in me. Right now, I’m just happy. I’m lying on the sofa with the following YouTube link on repeat. I’m warm; I’m content. And there’s not a trace of stone in my chest.
‘Four Sides and a Pointed Top – Ed Geater, featuring VITAL
Ed Geater releases his latest single, ‘Four Sides and a Pointed Top’, on 27th September – out via Bronx Records. Ed Geater will be releasing his new EP, IN, on Friday 1st November. For more on Ed Geater, visit www.edgeater.co.uk
For more on VITAL, visit www.IAmVITAL.co.uk
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