Photo by Caroline Berler
To say that “Spiral,” the latest single from singer/songwriters Natalie Frontera and Davide, feels immediately resonant would be the understatement of the year–and what a year. On the first single from their upcoming collaborative EP, the duo put a bedroom pop bow on the feeling of endless circling malaise that’s characterized much of 2020. (Though, funnily enough, they wrote it over a year ago).
The track is a mellow duet that draws on each of their respective influences. Frontera’s background is in classical guitar and folk (and at points in her debut album Failed To Mention, a little something jazzy), and Davide specializes in electronic pop. You can hear both of them in “Spiral,” with its acoustic picking and minimal electronic beat. The lyrics hold a magnifying glass over the loops in every day life–lathering, rinsing, and repeating your shampoo routine, flipping through channels–along with the creeping sense that things are falling apart around you in chipping nail polish and cracking kitchen counters.
Frontera and Davide deliver the words in steady, droning harmony, sometimes stressing unexpected syllables–even the way the lines fall metrically builds a low-key feeling of claustrophobic repetition that strips the meaning from an action. It hits a high point in the song’s closing section, as the metallic drum machine cymbals clang louder, a pad of static rises, and the words slip into a delay loop. Then, instead of a dramatic beat drop or a transformative release of tension, there’s just a return to the acoustic picking of the intro.
The result is artfully anticlimactic. One thing you can count on to mix up the monotony of lockdown life–the full collaborative EP will be out in October. “Spiral” bodes well for Frontera and Davide as smart songsmiths and complimentary pop personalities. It’s a catchy fragment of semisweet melancholy just waiting to worm its way into your daily routine.