Song of the Day: Still Parade - Chamber

Song of the Day
07/11/2016
Zach Frimmel
photo by Tonje Thilesen

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Chamber” by Still Parade from the 2016 album Concrete Vision on Heist or Hit Records.

Still Parade - Chamber (MP3)

We now know Still Parade is the brainchild of Berlin-based songwriter and producer Niklas Kramer, though, he initially embraced his anonymity for a while before revealing his identity. His cleverness for doing this was to let the music speak for itself and let people know that the proof is still in the pudding. The rising wunderkind was mysteriously introduced to the music world by way of his 2013 debut single, "Actors", which rapidly gained viral status with its Holocene-era Bon Iver dream folk allure. Three years later with his 2016 album, Concrete Vision, the air waves are rejoicing again, except this time his rhapsodic single "Chamber" shakes things up with a new, ambitious cocktail of sounds by mixing chillwave with euphorically warped pop ambience and a balanced blend of funky wah'd-out bliss.

This five-minute track is a crisply layered concoction and possibly even a concrete vision for his new artistic direction. On "Chamber", colorfully flowing synth legato, twinkling keys, and a coolly contrasting real-drum-sounding beat all melodically mash together like an auditory kaleidoscope to make for a visceral experience. Hey, that kind of doubles as an accurate description of the eye-gasm music video, too. Even though both of Kramer's two singles are crafted with finesse, they are done so with noticeably different aesthetics, which are possibly drastic enough to stump us on it being made by the same songsmith. This possibility is more a fascination than a critical stab knowing that Niklas Kramer possesses a strong amount of dexterity and isn't afraid to depart from his signature sound off his Fields EP that gave himself a quickly successful moniker.

Still Parade has a handful of shows coming up in Germany and the UK from now until October. Unfortunately (but also fortunately), Niklas Kramer made his North American debut at this year's SXSW, so it doesn't look like he has anything lined up for the States this year. That just leaves more time to hang out with his great new record Concrete Vision, to check out his website and Facebook page, and to repeatedly enjoy the 360 degree-interactive mind-trip music video for "Chamber", made by Vinyl Williams.

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