Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – May 3rd, 2019

Here at Blisspop, we aim to show our audience who’s making their mark upon electronic music culture today. We sort through the good and the bad, bringing you the latest sounds. We’re back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This edition features our contributors: Marshall Stukes, Justin Barini-Rivers, Alex Rubenstein, and Katie Bowles. This week’s music includes tracks by Palmistry, Periphery, okay(k), and Beck.



Palmistry – “Water”




Marshall Stukes – The subtlety in the bass is my favorite part of this song; I also liked the breakdown at 2:10. Other than that, it sounds like a combination of an EDM lead and a trap beat but not to each part’s full potential. (6/10)


Katie Bowles – A chill, summery pop track – I like it and could see it doing well as a beach/road trip/Corona commercial soundtrack. The vocals are a little boy band-esque and the production pretty predictable, but I’m fine with that in a song like this. I expect to hear a lot more of this one over the summer. (6.5/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – The chords and lofi hit are totally hypnotic for me. The vocals are smooth and I love the drum arrangement. It pushes ahead and behind in such an interesting way. The tropical vibe feels overplayed when I hear most songs, but this song is different. The vibe is so much more genuine than some overplayed chords and a serum patch. (8/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Palmistry has always been a favorite of mine between his production prowess and his uncanny take on dancehall music. This lowkey take on the genre is infinitely refreshing and his latest offering comes complete with very subtle production from none other than SOPHIE. This is the perfect palate cleanser to move us in to the warmer months. (8.5/10)


Periphery – “Crush”




Marshall Stukes – Periphery is the kind of band that really makes whatever music comes to heart. With their latest entry, Periphery IV: Hail Stan, they really knocked it out the park with sound diversity. “Crush” is a great example of that. It has a beautiful mixture of the electronic and orchestral elements that Periphery is known for, but takes it to the next level. (8.5/10)


Katie Bowles – This is the kind of dramatic song that I would’ve loved in high school, back when I was listening to intense bands like System Of A Down and Madina Lake and raging at my parents all the time (being a teenage girl was fun, guys). I definitely still feel this kind of track, but it’s not quite my wheelhouse anymore. I can recognize the production value, and the vocals and instruments are on point, but I wouldn’t listen to this one regularly (especially not the whole thing – the last couple minutes were too much for me). (5/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – This truly caught me off guard. They are killing this track. The arrangement really works for me – the drums are coming through, the vocals are fire, and overall, I’m blown away. I haven’t heard a song and checked the artist with confusion in quite some time. I am very into the RMS levels. This track is pumping, but my ears are still alive after listening to it. Got a new fan here. (9/10)


Alex Rubenstein – If this was 15 years ago I probably would have been all over this. Today, not so much. To my ears the first 5 and a half minutes sound like a slightly heavier Linkin Park. The last minute or so reminds me of some odd SoundCloud remix of Final Fantasy cut-scene soundtracks. I just wish I was listening to Between the Buried and Me instead. (2/10)


okay(K) – “cold” (w/ honey gentry)




Marshall Stukes – This beat is really soothing. I liked the jungle elements in the beginning and the end. They keys are smooth, and the bass comes through really nicely. The vocals from honey gentry really make this track shine for me. I wish the vocals from okay were processed a bit more, as they’re flat in comparison. The vocal arrangement is cool, but it gets kind of repetitive after a while. (7.5/10)


Katie Bowles – I love this! I wasn’t familiar with okay(K) or honey gentry before hearing this one, but now I’m deep diving into all of their stuff. This song is unexpectedly entrancing; there’s something hypnotic about the simplicity of okay(K)’s calm vocals and honey gentry’s ethereal sound works so well with it. I want to listen to this at the pool, walking around my neighborhood, on a rooftop…basically I just want this song to be my soundtrack for the summer and maybe longer. (9/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – I like this track because it’s something different in a sea of tracks that try to be something else. This song feels true to itself and stopped me as I was listening through stuff. It really picks up once you get deeper in and see where they take you. The song holds up over the four minutes. The vocals have something I enjoy that I can’t really place. Most likely it’s the stacking, but it’s more than that. I’d prefer this to a random sampling of the “Top 100” on Soundcloud in Hip Hop. (7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – “Cold” kind of wavers between being catchy and annoyingly too lo-fi for me. I certainly appreciate weird and off-kilter efforts, but this one isn’t doing it. The vocals from honey gentry are a nice touch to save it a bit. The bass hits are also clean and effective, yet everything else makes me want to go to sleep. (4/10)


Beck – “Saw Lightning”




Marshall Stukes – I’m not sure what to make of “Saw Lightning.” I can pick out elements from other genres, and they’re technically mix well together. It’s got nice bass, some country/bluegrass elements and rhythm like a dance track, but I’m not really a fan of this tracks composition of them all together. The vocal ad libs don’t really add anything for me either. (6/10)


Katie Bowles – God, Beck is so talented. I’m loving the slide guitar accents that start the track and continue throughout, and the beat is so catchy; you can definitely hear the Pharrell cosign on this. I love the harmonica at the end; that combined with the slide guitar gives it an Old West feel that I’m really into. The whole thing is super well done and I have no complaints. (10/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – I am into the sound design a lot. There’s lots of interesting juxtapositions with the live snare and strings and the electronic elements. The drums sitting with the guitar is my favorite aspect of this tune; they really work them together to tell a story. The vocals do work well, and I enjoyed listening through this several times in a row. (7.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein  – For something that is just so all over the place, I am surprised with how well all the individual elements mesh together. Now with that being said, as a whole, it fails to really move me. Its certainly got a danceable bass line, but the rest of it feels a bit hokey. Maybe next time. (5/10)



The Results:


Palmistry – “Water” – 7.25/10

Beck – “Saw Lightning” – 7.1/10

okay(K) – “cold” (w/ honey gentry) – 6.9/10

Periphery – “Crush” – 6.1/10