Stereo Specter – “Golden” [Premiere]

Optimistic music is hard to come by. Or, rather, listenable optimistic music is hard to come by. When an artist is aiming for that uplifting feeling it generally comes with the baggage of being overly corny, forced euphoria or, even worse, a completely empty gesture. With “Golden,” the latest single from Stereo Specter, all of those pitfalls are successfully avoided but a definitive smile stays intact.

I’m not one to doll out songwriting advice (as it is a matter of subjective opinion) but it seems the trick to believable optimism is to embrace a dash of melancholy. “Golden” delivers just the right amount of minor chords during the verse before opening up into a joyful, celebratory chorus. If you’re one to listen to lyrics, there’s a clever bit of linear storytelling going on that relates to heartbreak, wrapped in pleasantly subtle death references (“Did you want me to vaporize? Fade into a ghost?”). Not exactly painless options but the darker the verse gets, the brighter that elated choral refrain becomes.

Based on Stereo Specter’s social media activity, it seems 2020 has been a bit of a dormant year. Understandably so given.. everything. That said, a brand new single for the year with this much wide-eyed optimism is the kind of fresh feeling we could all stand to have a blast of.