2019 was a really good year for funk and soul revivalists around the globe – so much so that a lot of folks took to calling it the rebirth of the urban pop movement that had somewhat petered out towards the mid-2000s. In that spirit, artists of all races, genders and creeds have been emerging once more from the underground and starting to rekindle the same feelings and beats as the aforementioned movement once boasted, and for some clarity as to what I mean, I recommend listening to the new single “She’s so Carefree” from FrankySelector as soon as you can.
The bassline in “She’s so Carefree” is a little indulgent in comparison to what the minimalist pop scene has been supporting (and getting into the mainstream charts, I might add), but the lean take on the percussion in this track actually balances it out and signals a direct influence from the post-new jack swing vocal soul players who made a play for the big leagues back in the early 2000s. It’s not quite the stutter-step swing of a gangster-league G-funk (think Long Beach rap crooners like Nate Dogg, Warren G, Mase, etc.), but it’s definitely in the same ballpark for sure.
FrankySelector’s lyrics in this single are as black and white-simple as they can get, and from where I’m sitting, they didn’t need to be any meatier than they are for us to get the point here. The main focus is supposed to be the instrumentation in a venture like this, being that the harmony – and thus the verses it was designed to carry forth to us – is literally structured around it, which leaves a lot of the poetry normally tasked with developing a narrative can instead act to frame the most seductive beats in the mix.
Neither the single nor the music video for “She’s so Carefree” are overproduced in any way; truthfully, they’re the polar opposite, and the grit this allows for only adds to the alternative aesthetic in the song. It doesn’t take anything away from the pop elements in the music, and it shouldn’t – after all, FrankySelector doesn’t appear to be producing something he specifically doesn’t want mainstream audiences to be listening to, but rather something he knows his underground disciples are going to appreciate right out of the box. There’s nothing wrong with that, and actually, I’d like to hear his major label counterparts try doing something similar with their own work sometime.
Despite the immense competition he’s up against in Montreal and the Canadian underground in general, FrankySelector is a standout player who anyone can tell has the gift it will take to get people’s attention in the world of pop music. He’s rougher around the edges than a lot of others in his same position have been in recent years, but with his rebel persona intact, I think he’ll actually have a much better chance at breaking some new ground internationally than he would had he been born without it.