If you love indie/pop music, then Andrew Campbell, more commonly known as Ursae, is an artist that you definitely need on your radar.
Ursae, a graduate from NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, is an avant-pop producer and songwriter who is offering a new and unique take on mainstream pop music. He will be releasing his self-titled EP on Febraury 24, which is rich with organic sounds such as guitars, drums and flutes. The chilled vibe is combined with synths and programmed instruments to craft thick, colorful arrangements which are addictive to listen to.
The first track from Ursae’s EP is ‘Likeness’, which was recently premiered on The Wild Honey Pie. The track begins in a gentle manner, with the sound of a clock ticking. This allows Ursae’s vocals to stand out without distraction. The ticking continues throughout and appears to symbolise time moving on. During the chorus, however, the ticking is almost lost in the piano accompaniment which takes the song in a new direction. By the end, ‘Likeness’ has gathered momentum in terms of speed and finishes with an electronic vibe.
Speaking to The Wild Honey Pie about the track, he said: “The older I get the more I notice certain behaviors in myself, and within my relationships, that I saw in my mom and dad as a kid. I keep catching myself trying to solve the same problems in the same ways, which makes me identify with them so much more than I did growing up. It’s made me realize that we’re really all carbon copies of our mothers and fathers, so I use my parents in ‘Likeness’ as a frame of reference to examine myself and the way I treat the people I care about.
The EP’s second track is ‘So Green Her Eyes’, which was the first track to be unveiled by Ursae. The uptempo offering is hypnotic and discusses his feelings for a girl he once had a crush on but was out of his league. We love the rawness of the lyrics, yet the song is surprisingly easy listening material. At the 2:25 mark a heavier beat kicks on, which just adds to the mesmerising effect. It’s so easy to lose yourself in this song.
In a recent interview with Pancakes and Whiskey, Ursae said: “‘So Green Her Eyes’ imagines Death as this girl I had a crush on in high school, but was way out of my league. I thought about her all the time, but it never would’ve worked out. The song looks at depression and loneliness and says, ‘You might fantasize about Death, but it’s not right for you. Be with someone you deserve.'”
‘Song For ____’ is the third track on the EP, and is a laid back track to begin with. The haunting chorus builds into a crescendo, overlaid by a gentle flute tune. It feels as if the song builds in strength when Ursae himself grows in confidence against the person who’s been tormenting him.
‘Alchemize’ is another song which begins rather subtly, before drums are added to give the track a roaring effect and rockier sound. This is one of our favourite songs from the EP, as we love how it gains momentum throughout.
Finally, there’s ‘Epilogue’, which is nothing short of blockbuster movie material. The short track contains no lyrics, however, is rich with a deep, epic sound which you could picture in a sci-fi movie. It’s not a track that you would listen to as a standalone, however, it works perfectly to bring the EP to an end.
Overall, Ursae has developed a soothing EP, which is perfect lazy day listening material. There is no doubt that you could turn to this EP for comfort, especially when you’ve had a bad day. We enjoyed the selection of organic sounds, in particular the flute, which really added to the atmosphere created by Ursae throughout the record.
Ursae is available on February 24.