Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Greentea Peng – Spells

Hey, we found at least one Sound Of track that scores a [7] or higher…


[Video]
[7.00]

Thomas Inskeep: Woozy R&B topped with a vocal that’s less singing and more toasting — there’s a lot of Badu influence here, but Greentea Peng also sounds original. The way that piano riff sounds like a sample from a mid-’90s DJ Premier production brings me plenty of joy. There are moments, especially at the song’s end, when “Spells” threatens to become a Portishead song, too. I want this wave to keep washing over me.
[8]

Iain Mew: The elliptical, stop-start beat, with musical flourishes dragged through a hedge backwards, creates the atmosphere for staring out of rainy windows. All Greentea Peng’s vocal really has to do is not break the spell, and the sighs about fucking up reality succeed accordingly.
[7]

Nortey Dowuona: Peng’s pillowy voice pieces together the rippling piano and lumpen bass atop the clicking railroad drums. A shrieking guitar shakes them out of her hands as the pieces drift away inside cotton-candy cloud synths.
[8]

Juana Giaimo: The piano loop, the beat and her slightly raspy voice make a good combination in the verses. I especially enjoy the second verse, when that combination is slightly altered: The piano and beat disappears every few seconds. However, the chorus would benefit from a stronger melody, and her voice sounds quite weak when she lingers on the notes.
[6]

Dorian Sinclair: The sparse piano-and-bass instrumentation of “Spells” evokes a sense of mystery, and the verse has a momentum that had me holding my breath for a dénouement in the chorus. Unfortunately, when we get there, it feels underbaked compared to everything else going on. The instrumental outro brings back some of the earlier sense of possibility but can’t quite recapture the promise of the song’s beginning.
[6]

Alfred Soto: The marriage of dubstep and house piano edges closer to a triad, thanks to Greentea Peng’s wide-awake vocals. It could be faster, but that’s on me.
[7]

Rachel Saywitz: “Spells” sounds like its title: psychedelic, hypnotizing, and a bit out of the ordinary — especially when Greentea Peng stretches out words like “me” and “we,” so much that they become chewed up and distorted. Peng’s droning pronunciations might be a little abrasive at first, but repeat listens only planted her lyrics deeper in my head, which is what I would expect from a musical spell that she’s cooked up. 
[7]

Andrew Karpan: I could listen to the song’s little piano loop for hours, a gorgeous collection of cool, intimate sounds that feel like something off a Sampha record. And Peng’s voice is just achy enough to do it justice.
[7]

Reader average: [10] (1 vote)

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