Labán’s new single titled “Para Ti”
Courtesy of an unexpected influx in genuine talent emerging from the underground in the last couple of years, pop music has become a lot more exciting for critics and fans to follow in 2019, with artists like Labán dishing out some of the most interesting indie listens that the decade has had to offer. In Labán’s new single, titled “Para Ti,” the “Quién da Más” singer exhibits an artistry that knows nothing of the status quo that has plagued so many of his fellow pop vocalists with a predictability that most of us could do without. He dabbles in jazz, blues, old fashioned swing and modern pop here, creating a visceral cocktail of harmonies that will bring even the most discriminating of audiophiles to their knees.
Labán uses a very experimental construction in regards to the central hook in “Para Ti,” but he’s careful to avoid overly ambitious techniques. The rhythm is pretty cut and dry, the drumming simple and unassumingly seductive, but there’s an angular quality to the beats that I can’t seem to shake every time I listen to the track. The tension that we first meet in the opening stanza never completely dissipates; instead, it infects the chorus with a half-concealed frustration that makes the melody feel even more mischievous than it really is. Colorful strands of texture are coming at us in slow motion here, but even though the grooves are a little slothful in the chorus when juxtaposed with what the first few beats in the song advertise, it doesn’t affect our ability to connect with the track’s most subtle of sonic nuances.
I’m really loving the jazz elements in this single more than anything else. In some ways, Labán is channeling instrumental shades of the genre’s past through a contemporary, R&B-style filter that gives them a bit more oomph than we’re expecting them to possess. The levels are scooped in “Para Ti” much in a way that I’ve found to be common in heavier rock songs, and because of the relative lack of middle in the vocal track, this single ends up feeling more like an intimate live performance than it does your average studio recording. I haven’t had the chance to see Labán in person yet, but if he’s as good on stage as he is in the booth, his show would be one that I wouldn’t soon forget.
Critics from one side of North America to the next are going crazy for Labán’s new music right now, and if you analyze the finer points in his latest single “Para Ti,” it will become abundantly clear as to why. He’s making smart jazz/pop with a tender R&B accent that isn’t like anything his peers are experimenting with right now. Where so many of the urban pop singers that I’m listening to at the moment are trying their hand at melodic hip-hop and futuristic electronica, this artist is looking back at history and drawing inspiration from some of its most iconic entertainers. One thing is for certain – I’m eager to hear what else he has for us as we approach the 2020s.