A delightful mix of synth pop and funk, Jason Rylan captures the zeitgeist with “Powerless”. Lyrics lead the way for they speak to this very moment with a message of hope. The way Jason explores the hopelessness of the pandemic alongside the optimism for what life will be like after feels gorgeous. Production stuns for it has a glossy cadence to it with the sound absolutely shining. Best of all his passionate vocals serve as a light, a way to guide the rest of the track forward in a way that is drenched with so much kindness and compassion.
Stylistically it is impossible to talk about his sound without mentioning one of the synth pop greats, Human League. Like their work, he features some wonderful economic grooves that feel so instantly classic. Nor is he alone in mining this distinct sound for he’s coming up with a whole slew of artists bringing that minimal cadence back, from Blank Dogs to Ladytron alongside a slew of others. However, he does this in a way that does feel very much his own way, with the buildup in particular being finely tuned for maximum impact.
The minimal tones of the drum machine make their presence felt right in the very beginning. Helping to set the tempo for what follows the light funk of the patterns work wonders in giving it a kaleidoscopic quality. Right in the center of it his voice rings out with a great earnestness. Sung with such honesty the way that he depicts the pandemic life, with all of its heartache and hardships, feels particularly thoughtful. Quite masterfully he lets this spirit rise and rise until it becomes an all-consuming thing. For the way the melody shifts, moving into a sense of commiseration, of caring for others, is exactly what this time needs. By crafting a sense of community, the song radiates a lot of warmth behind it in a spirit of pure care. It is this care that brings the whole piece home.
Jason Rylan sculpts a serene, cerebral sound with fantastic storytelling and positive vibes on the carefully laid out “Powerless”.