Wrapped in a thick but wholly swinging bassline, we discover the bright ray of sunshine that is The Side Deal’s “I Can See Clearly Now,” which is currently out in both lyric video and single formats this summer. Structured similarly to the Johnny Nash original but flanked with a rock-flavored groove that wasn’t as prominent in the reggae-style original, this take on “I Can See Clearly Now” definitely gets off to a pendulous start before suddenly evolving into an all-out jam. There’s a romantic element to the tandem harmony between the vocals and the instrumentation here that is sublimely soulful and highly attractive even at moderate volumes, and while I would have enjoyed an straight acoustic version of this song as much as I do this rendition, there’s something particularly special about the electrifying edge the heavy mixing creates. If you’ve been having a stressful day, week, month or year, this is one track that is almost certain to turn your frown upside down inside of three and a half minutes’ time. I’m very picky when it comes to cover songs, but this is too good to avoid.
Beyond the melodies that bind the lyrics to the instrumentation in this track, there’s no denying how major an agent of evocation the beat of the drums is. There are admittedly a couple of moments in which the different elements in the main harmony here converge on each other in what could be described as a sonically overwhelming event, but because of the steady-handed percussion in the background, nothing ever fully devolves into chaos.
I really love the jaggedness of the master mix, and whether we’re listening to the single or taking in the joy-filled visuals that comprise the lyric video for “I Can See Clearly Now,” it’s as potent a force to be reckoned with as one could ask for. The video itself works really well as a verse-based piece of content, and in some ways it accomplishes the conveyance of a theme better than a conventional release would have. The Side Deal might be a new project for these musicians, but their sound feels like the missing piece of a puzzle that should have been finished a long time ago.
Pop/rock doesn’t always produce the sort of covers that make it into the indie press, but with The Side Deal’s unique version of “I Can See Clearly Now,” this is definitely a track and lyric video that are worthy of the media attention they’re receiving this June. As cool as it would be to see these guys record some original material together, I’d really like to hear them try some other classic compositions in addition to this one. They’ve got a flexible sound and approach to arranging that could really benefit them in exploring different styles of music in the studio, but no matter what they decide to do with their talents next, I’m going to plan on keeping up with their output as this genre’s future continues to unfold.