Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Earlier this year in May, I lauded the independent composer and producer Jett Allen for his remarkably unique sound. Entirely instrumental, his music harkens back to 80s and 90s film soundtracks and video game scores, beautifully performed with bright, surreal synthesizers layered on top of one another. In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on ‘Good Night,’ the closing track of Allen’s ‘Touching Melody, Vol. 1’ record, which can be streamed and downloaded now.
Similar to the last track of Allen’s we explored here on the Spotlight, ‘Good Night’ is doused in synthesizers that make no apologies for being intensely artificial sounding. The single sounds like it may have been recorded entirely on one electronic keyboard utilizing various presets. Even the basic percussion beat that enters later in the track sounds like it could have been inside a basic Yamaha keyboard. That, though, is exactly what I love about ‘Good Night,’ and more so, Allen’s music as a whole.
Allen does so much with these sounds. The synthesizers are so vivid and lovely; if a song could be a rainbow chock-full of colors, it would be ‘Good Night.’ The lead synthesizer seems to be a flute sample of some sort, one that parts to make way for a synthesized brass section several times throughout the song. The stunning melody is, quite simply, infectious, and one may find themselves listening to ‘Good Night’ on repeat.
The flute-like sections, to me, bring back fond memories of 1998’s ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.’ The synthesizer selection is similar to that of composer Koji Kondo’s for the ‘Lon Lon Ranch’ orchestration. When the brass sections come into the track, though, you’re transported to a different place: a pensive, soft-spoken state of reflection. It’s well worth noting that despite the myriad of layered synthesizers and beats, ‘Good Night’ sounds exceptionally clean and is very well mixed and mastered.
While I get my share of unique, experimental artists across my desk as an independent music critic, I very seldom get an artist like Jett Allen that fills my heart with pure, unadulterated, nostalgia joy. You won’t hear instrumental synth music like this in the mainstream or even the independent community. These fantastic little instrumentals are entirely unto Jett Allen, and they’re so worth checking out.