Scarlet Parke is a pop and soul singer out of Seattle, Washington. While she classifies herself as pop, there is something distinctly hip hop about her stylings. She would be the perfect accompanist for any rapper, and even as a stand-alone act, she is an absolutely astounding artist. In her latest track, “Anxious,” off her 2019 album “Flight Risk,” Scarlet Parke delivers delicate, highly intonated signing, without the over-styling common to modern singers. Her voice has the tinny, metallic resonance of Jessie Reyez, and the soothing low tones of SZA. She sounds leagues above someone in the underground, with studio polish and a charismatic demeanor usually only found in seasoned artists. Her sound is decidedly minimalist, low on the frills and flourish, but when she does decide to belt a few notes, she almost sounds like Beyonce. High notes trill throughout, giving this song an upbeat, pulsing quality. The beat for this song is incredible, and suites her vocal runs perfectly, begging the question, which came first: The beat or the vocal takes? Either way, the singing and the instrumental play off each other perfectly. In the bridge, she sounds especially like Jessie Reyez, one of the most exciting artists in the pop scene. The beat transitions into a beautifully filtered outro segment with highly synthesized vocals providing an ambient background chorus for a few bars before the song ends.
The sub bass/808’s are beautifully punctuated in the song’s intro, complete with snaps providing the minimalist rhythmic section, which picks up a little midway through, adding a trilling chorus of high hats to serve as the only drum build, which, in a song like this, really works. It was a bold move, but the right one and credit is definitely due to this track’s producer. The whole compostion builds in complexity as Parke comes in with her first vocal runs. The punctuated nature of her vocals, in the beginning, reminds me a lot of the stylings of Dua Lipa, proving that Parke knows how to take a bit from all the most talented artists in the pop scene. A bass drop and a trilling dream-sequence like sample piece add interest to the transtion between intro and verse.
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