Fragility is the key ingredient in making the harmony we find in the new single ”Scarecrow” from AV Super Sunshine so spooky and appealing, even after repeat listens, but it’s not the lone reason you should be spinning this hot pop track this spring. From the linguistic silk AV sews together to form the verses in his latest release to the striking balance he creates between the instrumentation and his own lead vocal, he puts on quite the multidimensional masterclass in this performance, earning more than his fair share of praise from critics across the American underground – starting with mine.
The lyrics here are a beacon of vulnerability amidst an otherwise stoic grind in the groove, and when AV employs a bit of reticence in his execution, it’s always intentional. Using the manner of his delivery to set the tone behind his narrative is essential to affording the statements he’s making in this single a bit more authenticity than they already possessed, and if even a fraction of his contemporaries were utilizing this method in their songcraft, I think the general vibe on your FM dial would be a lot more exciting than it presently is. There’s something experimental about this setting, and yet the melodies we’re treated to are anything but unfamiliar.
I like the pacing of this track for a couple of different reasons, the biggest being the way the tempo’s relationship with AV’s vocals creates an additional emotional context for his words. You really can’t get much more efficient than he’s being in this piece; there’s something to be found in virtually every nook and cranny of the song, with my man’s passion both slinking around in the shadows and dominating the center stage at the same time. His is an expressive act, and he makes no apologies for it here.
“Scarecrow” sports an instrumental construct curbed solely by its vocal dynamic, which is a lot different than straight-up minimizing the role of the backing band (as too many young pop upstarts have been inclined to do in the last five years). We’re collectively seeing a turnaround among a lot of indie players like AV, but few have had the moxie to create as much of an equilibrium between the two components as he has in this single. It’s admirable from numerous angles, and undeniably something I would like to see and hear more of in this genre contemporarily.
Aesthetically ambitious and loaded with a natural talent that just can’t be faked, “Scarecrow” is a good look for AV Super Sunshine and likely just the first of many headline-grabbing singles this singer/songwriter is going to stamp his name on before the year has come to a conclusion. AV forces nothing and doesn’t stunt for anything in this performance; he gives us a piece of his heart unrepentantly presented in as raw a set of terms as he can muster whilst staying melodic, and for my money, it results in one of the best pop tracks out of the underground this month.