"Fantazmz releases its debut single "The Mall", a very chill synthwave song with a captivating story that is complex in its nature, but resonates sensively with empathy and gets enhanced once decoding the analogy behind it. For a first release, songwriter-producer David Gagne reaches a level of serenity in terms of melodies and overall electronic music production, the sound in general feels natural and very modern, comparable to that of other top quality synthwave acts like The Midnight or Gunship, achieving a smooth, crisp and very present audio quality. The song also mantains a certain level of simplicity in its layers and do get elevated when the vocals kick in, wich are of an extremely well crafted tonal balance and totally unapologetic to their apparent influences wich in moments remind of an old school Howard Jones and some Huey Lewis as well. Definitely a success for a debut. Give Fantazmz a listen, it's just starting and it's definitely promising."
by Synthpop Your World on 19-June-2019
SYW Overall SCORE:
INSIDE THE TRACK: [artist's commentary]
“THE MALL” BEGAN AS A BEAT I PUT TOGETHER IN 2017. I WAS LISTENING TO PRIMARILY VAPORWAVE INSTRUMENTAL TRACKS AT THE TIME WHICH SERVED AS INSPIRATION. MY STUDIO WAS AT IT'S MOST MINIMAL. ALL THE SOUNDS I WAS USING WERE OUT OF THE BOX LOGIC PLUGINS.
THE CONCEPT AND LYRICS WERE DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH NEW YORK WRITER FOR THEATER AND SCREEN, ROSS WADE. WHILE THE SONG IS SURREAL, IT IS ALSO RELATABLE. UPON FIRST LISTEN, IT SOUNDS LIKE A SIMPLE POP SONG. ITS PERSPECTIVE IS OF SOMEONE WORKING A DEAD-END JOB IN RETAIL WITH A HARDCORE CRUSH ON A FELLOW EMPLOYEE. THIS TIES IN WITH VAPORWAVE THEMES OF CONSUMERISM AND YOUNG LOVE NOSTALGIA. BOTH THEMES FIT VERY WELL TO THE 80S DRIVEN, NEO WAVE MELODY THAT RUNS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SONG.
WHEN THE LISTENER BECOMES AWARE OF WHAT THE SONG IS REALLY ABOUT ITS COMPLEXITY IS ENHANCED. A CLOTHING STORE MANNEQUIN IS ARRANGED TO FACE ANOTHER. “HE” LOVE’S THE OTHER MANNEQUIN BUT IS UNABLE TO MOVE OR EXPRESS HIS FEELINGS. THE OTHER MANNEQUIN ISN’T FACING HIM AND DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HE EXISTS. THE DOUBLE ENTEN-DRES USED THROUGHOUT THE CHORUS SOUND POETIC WHEN APPLIED TO THE FORMER INTERPRETATION, BUT QUITE LITERAL IN THE LATTER:
"WISH THAT I COULD HELP IT BUT I’M HELPLESS STANDING PETRIFIED. OTHERWISE I’D MAKE THE FIRST MOVE. IN THE LATEST STYLE WITH A SMILE PAINTED ON MY MOUTH. CAN I BE REAL? A HOLLOWNESS IS FILLING ME."