Wednesday 28 December 2022

Flash Single Review: New Leaf - Marsha and the Positrons

Marsha and the Positrons are a kindie rock band from Washington DC. I first discovered them when I was compiling a Spotify playlist of transport songs and included their very catchy song "Alien in an Ambulance". Their music is thoughtful and engaging, incorporating numerous positive social messages throughout. Their latest single, "New Leaf", is an absolute gem, and is taken from their forthcoming album due for release in the new year. This truly is a feel-good track, which exudes a richness of texture and musical depth throughout.

An isolated vocal introduces the track, before a melodic keyboard infiltrates the sound, like raindrops from the sky. The song gradually builds in intensity with precision and patience, with the bass adding additional dynamics to the overall sound. The rhythm is light and sparse, allowing the melodic components of the combined instrumentation to really shine.

The middle eight features a haunting piano alongside some scintillating harmonies, which succeed in adding considerable ambience to the music, an approach that the Cocteau Twins perfected back in the eighties. Although the song is relatively short at under two minutes, there is clearly a lot going on here, with the band pulling out all the stops, although I personally would have preferred to have heard more.

The wistful vocals exude a unique sound, fortified with lyrics which serve like a stream of consciousness, with hardly a moment to pause for breath, between each new sentiment. The myriad of ideas contained in the song essentially anticipate the arrival of the new year; visualised as a beacon of hope and opportunity if we approach it in the right way. 

The lyrics also appear somewhat reflective at times, with the artist occasionally reminiscing about the past 'thinking over the last one', although we are now 'starting fresh'. The sentiment is also inclusive and not self-indulgent, where we are all invited on this musical journey 'if you put your hand in mine', because ultimately 'I want to wish you a happy, sweet new year'.

This is a quite superb piece of music, from a band who have really built a name for themselves over the years. The lyrics unravel like poetry, the arrangement is crafted with considerable expertise and the vibe is charming and optimistic. If this song is anything to go by, I'm sure the new album will be well worth a listen. This is a band clearly on top of their game, and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Marsha and the Positrons - hope springs eternal.

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