“One Sided Love,” the newest in a string of epic releases from critically acclaimed pop singer MkX, hits airwaves and digital media this summer and I had the opportunity to give it a close look before its release. In music journalism, these sneak previews are meant to create buzz behind a single ahead of its impending circulation to radio stations and other formats from the internet all the way to a DJ’s vinyl collection. While most of what I get to listen to doesn’t surprise me much in the way of sonic developments, MkX’s work has continued to make me optimistic about the future of pop, and this latest song is no different. Artfully composed lyrics join with technologically mind boggling rhythms to create a harmony that is uniquely hiss, and the vibe of the music makes for an overwhelming sense of pondering and duality as described in our singer’s heart melting verses.
I’ve never understood why so many critics fail to see the heart that electronic music has. Saying that someone who plays the piano is somehow artistically superior to someone who layers samples and loops to create a suffocating wall of sound is just absurd when you think about it. Music is tonality, and can even be the absence thereof in the case of noise artists of experimental low fidelity acts. MkX uses the studio and the soundboard to add to his immaculately appointed arrangement and enhance his already talented abilities as a singer and a composer. If there’s something wrong with that, then I don’t know if music has anywhere left to go moving forward.
MkX’s voice is the real star of “One Sided Love,” and his range is something to admire. While I might have toned down some of the levels on his vocal track so we could get a little closer to the divine timber his voice brings to the table, there’s still so much to love about his slinky crooning on this song. The tragedy of the modern state of pop is that the establishment wrongfully encourages its underground acts to try and follow one of several prearranged routes to the top, and if you try to play outside those lines, you can forget about getting any sort of mainstream financing and support. A singer like MkX has a lot to prove in trying to make a name for himself in this arena, but those pipes of his are going to go a long way in doing the legwork for him.
Taking over this business by doing things the old fashioned grassroots way can be really, really challenging, but in reality, it’s what gives a real artist their stripes. There’s a lot of ways that even a newer performer like MkX could be selling out and taking the easier path to stardom, but maybe his stubborn adherence to the DIY creed is what makes him so delightfully special. I’m eager to hear his new extended play Welcome to Planet X when it drops in the near future, and I know I’m not the only indie critic waiting for the chance to hear more of this man’s superb portfolio.