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“Down Crazy” by Gigi Vega

In her poppy new single “Down Crazy,” singer Gigi Vega doesn’t concern herself as much with a cohesive rhythm as she does a fluid lyrical delivery, and to me, it amounts to one of her most efficient and endearing performances to date. Rather than replacing organic shortcomings with synthetic frills, “Down Crazy” features a raw emotionality that doesn’t hide blemishes – it celebrates them. There’s a confidence to the tuneful, unfiltered vocal that Vega puts up right off the bat here that I can’t get enough of, and once you check it out yourself, I think you’re going to understand what I mean.

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One of the most compelling elements to the groove in this piece is the flexibility of the bassline, which seems to swing behind the verse rather than carving out a place for the lyrics to sit evenly, between melodic components as opposed to on top of them. It makes the arrangement all the tighter, and arguably would have pushed out a singer with less of a skillset than Gigi Vega has, but that’s the whole point of “Down Crazy;” it’s as much a flex as it is a showing of personality, and this is definitely why fans are responding the way they are right now.

This hook is loose and inviting, and although it has a lot of bottom-end supporting it tonally, I don’t believe it would be any less immersive were the bass and the percussion backing off of the chorus. Vega has the kind of talent where the more producers pile on her, the increasing control she gains over the spotlight. She was born to rock the big harmonies as hard as a whole band could, and given her interest in developing melodicism that isn’t muddied by a lot of electronic elements, I think she’s going to take off with multiple generations of listeners this autumn.

While I don’t know that the rhythm had to be as volatile in the latter half of the song as it is, I will say that this further establishes Gigi Vega as one of the more relaxed young singers out of her scene at the moment. I’m not getting the same kind of punkish angst out of this as I have virtually every contemporary track her rivals have been releasing in the past few months, but a clubby swagger that doesn’t need much help sounding both romantic and revitalizing for a post-pandemic world at the same time.

“Down Crazy” isn’t the lone expressive wonder you’re going to find if you browse through the discography of Gigi Vega this autumn, but I do believe it to be the most promising example of her abilities to see worldwide release so far. She breaks out the majestic tones and easy-riding grooves here, and where a lot of her competition would have overwhelmed us with attempts at a more surreal, cerebral treatment of the same content, she keeps things straightforward – and earns a lot more praise as a result. “Down Crazy” is a lot saner a pop listen than its name implies, and I recommend listening to it the next time you’re looking for smart new music this September.

Samuel Pratt

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