Brooklyn-via-San Francisco indie-pop artist Ursae premieres the lyric video for his newest single on CelebMix. It’s called “Del Mar.”
Ursae is the musical project of Andy Campbell, whose reformist pop sound amalgamates shimmering guitars, burnished synths, and rolling 808s. It’s a tight sound, fresh but not overly sanitized, or sickly-sweet. Rather it glides along sandwiched amid pop-flavored R&B and indie rock.
Explaining his music, Campbell says, “Somehow my taste in music has done a complete 180 in the last couple years, so I’m not trying to craft some sprawling, artsy, low-key masturbatory saga like with my last record. When you’re being clever just for the sake of being clever or showing off what you learned in jazz school or whatever – people can tell. It doesn’t connect. Now I want to be as direct as possible with what I’m trying to say: telling the story, communicating the feeling, getting to the point.”
The name of the project – Ursae – is Latin for “bears,” animals that captivated Campbell’s imagination because they are both endearing and simultaneously frightening.
Campbell describes them thusly: “I really like bears. On one hand I’m super passionate about wildlife and the environment, and want to use my platform to advocate for their protection. On the other hand, bears are just incredible animals. They’re hella cute, they sleep a shit-ton, they’re pretty intelligent. I feel like a bear sometimes.”
“Del Mar” opens on a crunching beat topped by a fat bass line, as Campbell’s tasty voice rides overhead. Savors of both pop and rock-lite flow through the melody, giving it an alluring undulation full of vibrant washes of color and beefy dynamics. On the chorus, sparkling accents from the synths infuse the tune with effervescent layers, vibrating atop the harmonics.
Tender lyrics, rife with tantalizing wisps of recollection, imbue the tune with unrequited feelings of regret for what might have been.
“You try to call it like there’s little love for me / Like I just qualify as simple company / When I recall the time you shoulda run from me / Instead of lovin me / So come to me now.”
“Del Mar” looses infectious pop dynamics, iridescent washes of color, and the immaculate radiant timbres of Ursae.