Gentle pulsations adorn a surreal backdrop as we listen in on the first few seconds of Wanderraven’s incredible single “Dishonest,” and as the song grows more formidable with each passing moment, it becomes clear that making a stock pop song was the last thing on this artist’s mind when he entered the studio. From the textures on the bassline to the angelic harmony conjured up by the vocal track’s flickering flame, every component in “Dishonest” is designed to stir our souls and enrapture us in a way that most pop music just can’t, and despite its familiar grooves and synthetic melody, this is one single that I think qualifies as among the most original to debut out of the underground in the last few months.

URL: https://wanderraven.com/

The vocal is the most virtuosic element of “Dishonest,” and that’s really saying something when we isolate the instrumentation and see just how much detailed action this song has going for it. Everything is built around the cool serenade occupying the forefront of the mix, and amidst the muted discord in the background, the juxtaposition of chilling poeticisms and fervent beats becomes just as intoxicating as the substance of the lyrics is on its own. The swing is plentiful in both the vocal execution and the polished percussive parts, and in reality – no matter what intricacies you’re zeroing in on – you’re going to be shaking your hips to the grooves in this song by the time it reaches its midway point.

Everything about this arrangement is sleek and cosmopolitan, as I would prefer in a new pop song, but it doesn’t read as being overly efficient or lacking in musical muscularity – quite the opposite, actually. Just within the context of the relationship between the boisterous bassline and the stinging serenade, there’s a pumped-up physicality to this track that I wouldn’t normally expect out of a non-rock single. There’s an anthemic, chest-beating intensity to the construction of this piece that cannot be discounted, and I think that, were it not as emphasized in the master mix as it ultimately is, “Dishonest” might not be the throw-down, lights out pop masterpiece that so many critics (myself included) are regarding it as today. Wanderraven has struck the perfect formula for engaging his audience here, and it’s something I want to hear a lot more of in the years to come.

Though 2019 has been producing some really awesome pop music across the spectrum (and the globe, for that matter), Wanderraven unleashes a decadent, albeit deceptively simple, pop song for the ages in this sweet late-summer ballad that his rivals are going to have a tough time topping before the year is out. There’s no such thing as a flawless composition, but this guy gets about as close as a modern pop artist can in this track, whilst somehow making it look all too simple in the process. This is a very important era in the history of his genre, but as long as Wanderraven continues to fire on all cylinders as he has here, he’s going to enjoy significant success as the years go by.

Michael Rand

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