An accurate depiction
It is often difficult to decipher the meaning and significance behind song titles, especially for songs that focus heavily on instrumentals. While many titles are obviously related to the subject matter of the song (take Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” or Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” for example), many titles seem abstract or unrelated to the song. The title of composer/producer Kan Wakan’s new track “Molasses” makes perfect sense, not because of the lyrical subject matter, but because of the tone and structure of the song. The somewhat orchestral piece that incorporates modern electro-influences seems to slowly cascade from its origin, groupings of notes forming viscous drips that fall and stick together to form a thick, whole composition. The Bulgarian-born artist begins with a slow, thumping bass accompanied by a deceptively simple piano rhythm and the full-bodied voice of featured vocalist Elle Olsun. As the first big glob of music spills over the edge of the metaphorical jar, there is a noticeable increase in intensity, although the percussion and piano rhythms remain consistent.
Immediately following the uptick, there is a brief period where Olsun’s voice and the piano are left alone to dance and circle around each other, showing Kan Wakan’s penchant for minimalism, only to be interrupted by an unexpected and soulful harmonica solo that makes you want to lean back in your rocking chair, smoke your pipe, and sing the blues. The second half of the song jumps back closer to the style of the first half before the solo, but with added layers of bass and a wide range of acoustic percussion that allow the song to keep its simple roots, but display easily unnoticed complexity behind the surface. An outpouring of emotion, compositional ingenuity, and talent, “Molasses” flows slow and steady, sticking to everything in its path, capturing the essence of the way life changes so slowly that you don’t notice it. Until you do.