This week: “Blank” by Melvv (Atlantic Recording, 2019)
Why we’re into it: A track for those days when you accept that life sometimes is so overwhelming, the best you can do is just feel…nothing.
Melvv has long distinguished himself by creating the kind of tracks that stand out from those by similar artists.The electro-bops from “Heatwave,” “Babe,” and “Lifeline” all have stood the test of time. But “Blank” feels like a deeper dive into the artist’s psyche, making this his best piece of work to date.
The pleading vocal feature on the track, belonging to Kennedi, provide emotional depth and clarity that Melvv has not fully explored in the past. “I’m drawing a blank/How did it feel to be feeling something?/I’m drawing a blank.” She sounds full of anguish, while Melvv’s undercurrent of pulses and production techniques underscore the sense she lost in a state of questioning herself. And yet, the result is an oddly buoyant track with dark undertones. An especially striking, moment of self-realization, comes at the beginning of the chorus: “Well/Oops I don’t think I do why/Do I do what I do.” Sometimes, isn’t ignorance really bliss?
There’s a real darkness in the realization of the emptiness that lurks within each of us. Terrifying? Yes. But essentially, it’s also what makes us human. It’s the ability to combat the blankness and feel emotion, care for others, and realize there’s more to give to the world than our own petty hangups. Many of us have asked ourselves, how do we continue to care when there’s nothing inside driving us to do so? A possible answer can be found is the emotional solidarity from bits of art that prove we aren’t alone. While we continue to ponder over life’s eternal questions, “Blank” joins us and provides some tunes to ease the way.