Singles are a lot tougher to make than albums, and I’m saying that having been in the recording industry for the better part of my adult life. Singles demand more out of us, more out of our fans, and frankly, more out of the medium, to make any sense to the masses, and in “In da Couch,” Scarlett Deva shows some of her less than adept peers how to make a single the right way. Deva doesn’t talk down to us here, nor does she try and overwhelm us with an all-encapsulating statement piece about who she is and where she’s going. “In da Couch” is a chill slow jam with a spicy central hook that is going to hit the spot like a fully loaded bowl this April 20th, and that’s putting it quite mildly.

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“In da Couch” benefits from a very physical master mix, but I don’t know that I would call it an overindulgent or bloated production quality at all. Deva clearly put a lot of time and effort into hammering out all of the minute details within the track, as there’s nothing but a refined glow here to indicate anything different. The piano parts get the heaviest varnish, but I really don’t know that they needed it. Deva is a skilled hand at the keyboard, and she shows us what she’s made of in “In da Couch” without ever coming off as hesitant or unsure of herself in execution.

This bassline has got some of the best tonality that that I’ve heard in any indie pop song to debut this spring, and to a large degree, it challenges the vocal track for the lion’s share of our attention in a few different spots here. The bass is a key component of any track with as much of an R&B-influenced construction as “In da Couch” has, but again (and much like the mix that it’s filtered through), it never gets so wet and wild that it disturbs the other components in the song. She might not be a household name with a major label’s big budget at her disposal, but Scarlett Deva is putting as much energy into maximizing her sonic depth in this single as anyone in the mainstream is – if not a little more.

As far as I’m concerned, “In da Couch” is an excellent addition to an already sterling collection of songs that we’ve heard out of the underground this season, and it shows a potential in Scarlett Deva that would be hard for even the most discriminating of music critics to deny. There’s no shortage of magic in this track, and while it’s evenly spread out throughout the different elements in the instrumentation and the arrangement, there’s never any question as to who the real star of the show is from beginning to end. Deva has found her true calling in music, and with any luck she won’t wait too long before sharing a full-length album in this style with us.

Michael Rand

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