The Spiritual Leaders – Underwater With You – Review

The Spiritual Leaders - Underwater With YouWe’ve reviewed The Spiritual Leaders before here. They’re back! “Underwater With You” starts with a sparse and tight drum pattern before a languid wave of bass and guitar comes in sliding up and down in a dark, drone-like current. The drums have a crisp electronic texture to them, while the vocalist is up close and intimate with the microphone, a touch of reverb adding a ghostly delay to their voice. Things finally kick into a more danceable beat with the snare hitting 2 and 4 closer toward the end of the song. The guitar underneath becomes morphed into a heavily distorted melody while the original, crisp guitar melody from the beginning comes back around for a bookend. At the arrival point of the chorus, the guitar picks up in motion while the vocals become more still, demonstrating interplay between the two parts in an aquatically mellow and peacefully fluid release of the heart. A listener could easily become lost in the gentle waters of the indie-rock whirlpool vibes that this song emits.

The Spiritual Leaders – Underwater With You

The Rob Newman Snug Remix version of “Underwater With You” is a longer, more digitized and dramatically pixelated take on the original track. Its introduction kicks into gear with a more ethereal, densely techno beat and a low, bellowing bass that creepily shakes the floor as it pumps along. The vocals seem to pan back and forth from left to right like an ocean wave, yet they feel present the whole time, just like the singer is moving back and forth right in front of you. Daft-punk style vocal effects elevate the character of the song to another, sort of galactic, kind of level – think of an ocean of bubbles in space. Suddenly, toward the end of the song, the bass becomes a low, jumpy synth that maintains a quick rhythmic pace to drive the rest of the mix forward a notch. “Underwater With You (Rob Newman Snug Remix)” is an interesting example of showing two different sides of the same coin, one natural and one lit up in neon lights.


“Does This Mean” begins with a giddy surf rock guitar melody in the beginning, accented by a lo-fi warbled effects filter. Everything in this song has a hazy, sunshiny tone to it, and the chorus sneaks up on you quickly as everything bounces along. Lighter and brighter than the other two songs in this group, the vocals in this song sound almost like they were recorded live because of how raw and present they are in the mix. There’s a fast-jumping bass line that dances around like ants on the ground. The vocalist sings lyrics about being young and free to explore and love, all with a tender flutter in his voice and a heartfelt, sincere delivery. “Does This Mean” is an endearing love song with yearning indie rock vibes that tug at the teenage heartstrings remaining inside all of us.

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