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Malice K has a sneaky way of taking the tropiest of tropes and shaking them by the ankles until only the good bits — the things that made them worthy of repetition in the first place — remain. On his new single, “Changes,” he draws on the sort of brooding nostalgia mined ad nauseam in contemporary pop and boils it down to its essence.
Over a woozy, six-chord, six-bar progression that loops for the track’s entire two-minute run time, the mercurial Pacific Northwest native slurs out an impression of a rudderless singer-songwriter mourning his old self as he reflects on the irrevocable changes time has wrought. Like the rest of his tongue-in-cheek miniatures, which range from proto-punk sketches to baroque laments and beyond, “Changes” is sneeringly self-aware.
Pivoting easily from an Elliot Smith croon to an Isaac Brock bark, Malice K pushes past the usual pop pleasantries. He shows a cool disdain for the vibe he’s encapsulated so effortlessly, but his structures are studiously rendered. It’s clear he’s a disciple of the genres he seemingly scoffs at, always taking the time to read the book before he throws it away.