It's Pretty OK
Solving the paradoxes of our time since 2016

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A Pretty OK Song: "Hesitate (feat. Emerson Leif)" - Golden Vessel

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Laid-back instrumental music, especially of the chill electronic kind, has long been a godsend, whether I’m at work, studying, or just looking for something to listen to while I cook dinner. But I’ve had a more difficult time than I imagined trying to relay my appreciation for this kind of music to you. I’ve mentioned my love of lo-fi beats and electronic flourishes several times before, but in case those didn’t hit the mark, Golden Vessel and Emerson Leif’s “Hesitate” is the latest song that’s been grabbing me.

Golden Vessel handles production duties on “Hesitate,” while Leif is responsible for the silky vocals throughout the track. I found both of these artists through the Australian radio station triple-j a little over a year ago (check out their collaboration “Tell The-Girl” too), so it shouldn’t be any surprise that both Leif and Golden Vessel hail from down under.

“Hesitate” is a perfect meeting of the chill electronic style I love and a more mainstream, approachable vibe. The first things you hear are some electronic background scratching and a series of bleeps and bloops that, in a morbid way, remind me of the operational sound of a hospital. Hopefully, you haven’t spent enough time in hospitals to confirm this feeling. As the song progresses, Golden Vessel incorporates an electric guitar and a synth that sucks you in as it builds in volume.

The odd thing is that it takes over a minute—more than 20 seconds after Leif’s vocals enter the track—before any percussion makes it into the mix. The electronic music I typically listen to rarely exhibits these characteristics, which makes “Hesitate” remind me more of a ballad than a typical electronic track. Ultimately, I think that’s what makes the song more approachable; there’s a singer-songwriter aspect that takes what would have been a great chilled-out beat and turns it into something more. It takes a more relaxed approach than Flume’s recent work, but is still more upbeat than James Blake’s more brooding work. It’s a nice niche that’s more welcoming and friendly without being too aggressively electronic—a very good spot to spend some time in.

Until next week.

-Ian Wood