The independent music community has a consistent shortage of quality acts rooted heavily in Soul, R&B, and Jazz. Despite all three genres standing the test of time elegantly, they’re particularly hard to champion in a modern indie scene inundated by singer songwriters, hip hop artists, and the like. Thus, Footwerk is a refreshing act, and their new single, Chillswitch, is a breath of fresh air worth enjoying.
Footwerk is essentially the vehicle for Melissa ‘Mel’ Moffett, a vocalist who has recently gone through a bevy of personal tribulations, many of which have fueled the situations at play on Casual Encounters, her debut album with Footwerk. Chillswitch is a lovely first look into that sound, offering a slick production that’s accented well by a strong backing band.
At its core, Chillswitch is an R&B song with heavy doses of Soul influence from Moffett. Her lead vocal performance is rather excellent, boasting powerhouse vocals that are the centerpiece of the single’s sound. The band accentuates, never overpowering Moffett’s presence. The culmination of the upright bass, a brass section, drums, piano, and guitar is highly fruitful for Footwerk’s sound, giving them a foot-tapping groove that one might only find in a dimly lit jazz bar at two in the morning.
Hence, there’s probably one word that best encapsulates Chillswitch: “suave.” It’s a sleek, cool performance, where not a note goes awry. Lyrically, it’s a good end-of-relationship crooner, perfectly aligning it with its R&B and Soul roots. “I’m not over you,” Moffett belts in the hooks. In the music video, which is surprisingly well shot, a crowd of young, attractive people nod in approval while sipping wine in an intimate venue. Yes, it’s pretty cool.
If there’s anything missing from Chillswitch, it’s a moment where Moffett unleashes her vocal cords. Throughout the five minute number, the listener is left waiting for the moment when the vocalist breaks loose and tears the roof down. That never happens, which would be wonderful to see from Moffett in a future performance. There’s something to be said, however, for the controlled, slick atmosphere of the track as it stands.
Chillswitch is an excellent indicator that ‘Casual Encounters’ will be an independent release worth taking note of. Footwerk has a terrific sound, and it’s one that doesn’t sound quite like anything else in the indie community, and that’ll be very key to their success.
Author’s Note: Check out the interview with lead singer, Mel.
Song Rating: 4 stars.
Author’s Note: It’s a very solid song, exhibiting that soul and R&B influence can still produce some of the finest music in the indie scene. The community needs more of this, and it’s a great indicator that Footwerk‘s full album is worth listening to when it comes out.
Song Rating Guide
1 Star = Don’t Bother
2 Stars = Cannot Recommend
3 Stars = Would Listen Again
4 Stars = A Solid Song
5 Stars = Must Own (CD/Stream Download)