Severine - Not Obsessed
This is easily one of the most winning and memorable pop songs released in 2017. Severine’s “Not Obsessed”, produced by Anthony Gallo, comes across as many things to the listener. It’s a statement of purpose, a reflection of the singer’s interior life, and a exhortative to her audience all rolled into one entertaining presentation. It is an appealing combination of traditional melodicism and electronica that reflects her burgeoning interest in bands like Muse and Radiohead. There’s a variety of influences exerting their hold over the sound and direction of “Not Obsessed”; we even hear light jazz influences in her vocals courtesy of Louis Armstrong and Nina Simone’s effect on her as a young budding musician. This is an early preview of the talents we’ll hear on her soon to drop EP effort and the track shows her to be a wide ranging talent who can go anywhere from here.
The piano opening the song seems to be setting us up for a ballad, but it quickly transforms into an electronic laced melodic line that is equal parts direct and atmospheric. The drumming makes a big difference in this song – a lot of tracks of this ilk suffer from a wayward sense of focus when they lack drums or else don’t resonate as deeply with listeners when they rely on electronic percussion. When the song hits its high water marks, there’s never a sense of shrillness or overreaching. Those moments make utter sense within the context of the song and have a pleasing inevitability that audiences, particularly experienced music fans, will find quite satisfying. It has a nice structure as well, particularly in regard to its length, and the way it concludes largely as it began gives it a nicely circular quality. The passion infusing the music is very real and has genuine warmth uncommon to largely electronica fueled arrangements.
Severine’s singing takes on multiple poses during the song and it shows tremendous versatility. The same passion that comes through in the music comes through in her singing as well, but she artfully tempers her approach throughout and never attempts to dominate the instrumental backing. Confident phrasing is another important part of her skill set and she inhabits every line of the song with the sort of focus that most pop performers never attempt to bring to bear in a pop song. The lyrics are well written, never bite off more than they can chew, and are obviously written to serve the musical arrangement. The word choices accentuate various points in the music and Severine shows enough verve to make the most of those occasions. “Not Obsessed” may or may not be included on her upcoming EP release, but there’s little question we should consider it at least partially representative of her musical vision. Severine’s future is unlimited from this point and it behooves any serious music lover to pay attention to this gem. Severine’s official music video was directed by Todd Muchow and Edited by Anana Kaye.
Photo Credit: Todd Muchow