“And though I come and go / This is just for show / And though I won’t say so / Please don’t let me let you go” sings a soft voice of vitality in the midst of “The Elegant Charade” by Blue for Black, the dreaminess of the nearby instrumentation seamlessly entwining with the words. Profoundly emotional and seductively relatable when we’re least expecting it to be, “The Elegant Charade” is a lyrical showcase for Blue for Black, and in my opinion, and excellent demonstration of what he’s capable of producing inside of the recording studio.
There’s a great tonality to the acoustic guitar parts in this song, and on more than one front, they complement the vocal rather perfectly. The strumming is warm and richly textured, arguably even more than the serenade is during a couple of critical junctures of the track. Tightly mixed beside the ebbtide of synthetic melodicism on the left and a surreal void, later filled by percussive beats as mild as they are sensuous, the strings that adorn the front of “The Elegant Charade” are essentially what make this single the landmark release for this artist that it inarguably is.
The bass element in this track is a little heavier than it needed to be and definitely not as tempered as I had expected it would be, but it contributes to this wonderfully indulgent, industrial edge in the music that I really dig as a pop fan. There’s a post-punk sensibility to the construction of the harmony-based hook in this song, and if it were to be expanded upon in a live setting, there’s no telling how psychedelic and sonically captivating the show could get. Blue for Black is teasing a multilayered songcraft here, and I’m looking forward to hearing more of it in the future.
As far as production quality goes, “The Elegant Charade” is sparkling with pop varnish, but its atmospheric elements make this very varnish yet another component of the surrealism in the song. You could take the lyrics here at face value, and the melodies that surround them in the same fashion, but to me, there’s just too fanciful of a narrative in play within every angle of this track to dismiss Blue for Black’s sound as conventional. This is a unique approach he’s taking to a tried and true model, and I for one really like his ambitiousness.
While I only got into Blue for Black just in the last couple of weeks, I’m curious to hear what kind of thought-provoking content he’s going to come up with in the next couple of years. He’s got a lot of potential with regards to his songwriting abilities, and if this is a good indicator as to how far he can push the envelope when the mood is right, I can see him developing quite the loyal following in the American underground over the course of a hot summer season. I’ll be keeping an eye on his growth, and I think you should do the same.