As much an agent of seduction as either of the vocals in this track are, the groove supporting Mel Pacifico and Uness in RockLee’s “It’s a Feeling” has a rhythmic command over the audience from the moment we press the play button forward. There’s no separation between the singers and the beat in this single; theirs is a joint control over the percussive force catering to the emotional tone of the lyrics, and by the time we reach the midway point in “It’s a Feeling,” it’s as though we’ve joined the fabric of the instrumentation as well.

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/rocklee_20/its-a-feeling-feat-mel-pacifico-uness

Deeming a song like this one ‘immersive’ doesn’t do it justice, and I think its music video extends much of this point without ever having to step out of its cut and dry aesthetical frame. The simplicity of the source material is undeniable in this type of setting, but more so is the feeling that we’re witnessing something completely cohesive and entrancing, no matter the medium through which it’s enjoyed. I review a lot of hot R&B out of the states but scarcely do I see a Canadian talent off of the mainstream radar developing the kind of multidimensional look RockLee is so easily.

Uness takes the harmony into retro territory in the second half of “It’s a Feeling,” but as far as conclusions go, he couldn’t have given the finish line in this single a better embellishment. Though the groove is constantly a reminder of the post-millennium streamlined swing we’ve heard throughout the pop music spectrum over the past twenty years, the melodic adornments it receives at the end of this track are straight out of the old school. It’s a perfect juxtaposition of themes old and new alike, and something I didn’t expect to run into so late in the song.

I had no idea what to expect from the increasingly buzz-worthy RockLee this July, but I was quite pleased to find his new single “It’s a Feeling” and the song’s music video weighing in as heavy as they do. There’s a lot of drive to this rhythm that reaches from behind the speakers and drags us into the texture of the music itself, and in comparison to what the mainstream has been pumping out in the last year, this kind of cerebral songcraft is a most welcome treat indeed. I’ll be looking out for more of RockLee’s work, and you should consider doing the same.

Sebastian Cole