Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Tirzah – Gladly

If only it had scored .14 higher Tirzah would have been eligible for an upgrade to “Gleefully.”

Iain Mew: The part where she sings “feels like it’s raining super slow” over not much is so on point that it stretches the lack of affect a bit too thin. Apart from that, the whole experience is one of floating in the ocean and also in space, and its inky blankness is its strength.

Alfred Soto: As familiar as a phone call from a friend, “Gladly” reflects the washed-out sullenness of a person tired of living with the truth. Tirzah drops these declarative truths on flat beats like Neneh Cherry or Tricky, and the voice accumulates pathos as the keyboards become more aqueous.

Julian Axelrod: Like lying at the bottom of a swimming pool or watching rain hit the roof, it’s intoxicating to pine for something just out of your reach. Tirzah blurs the line between starry-eyed romantic and jaded dreamboat, her romance kept at a remove. One of the most disorienting and enchanting love songs I’ve heard in some time.

Will Adams: I appreciate the attempt to avoid falling into the landfill of “chill”-tagged R&B, but the lo-fi effects slapped on to what can’t be more than four total tracks makes for listening that’s soporific and tedious.

Juan F. Carruyo: An effortless romp of a tune perfect for hanging out in the park with your drink of choice. There’s a few lovely details: the phased piano that bookends the track, adding a bridge just when the song is about to be over, to my delight and the stutter in the kick drum that reoccurs in the chorus. This is a miniaturist’s dream and you’re welcome to join.

Edward Okulicz: The production stakes (and quality) have gone up so much in the DIY-n-b style Tirzah essays here that “Gladly” sounds downright primitive. Or at least like the dead, flat drums are a first draft. I’ll give the melody a bit more credit and say it’s a third draft. This isn’t spare, it’s empty.

Jonathan Bogart: Scrappy post-apocalyptic pop balladry, featuring cavernous echo and stumbling next-house-over piano. It never raises the temperature enough for her declarations of passion to sound credible, but as an echo of pop past it’s dimly haunting.

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