Dark-Pop Trio OK Button Release Poignant New Single "Flesh & Blood"
Since forming just last year, indie trio OK Button have made noise. Each of their singles has made its way onto major playlists curated by Spotify, already garnering a loyal fanbase of folks who are hypnotized by the band’s dreamy, earnest brand of synth-pop. It’s tough to categorize OK Button, though, because when we think of pop, we think of sunshine and dancing — but we don’t really dance when we listen to OK Button. We sway drowsily, we hang our heads low, we waver to the churn and lurch of our minds. It’s remarkable, then, that the band have managed to stun listeners over and over again even when slashing the expectation of typical “good times” in pop. Instead, OK Button are bringing to light important topics on mental health mimicked by the music: these songs are scary sometimes and they’re profound and they’re haunting.
On the band’s latest single, “Flesh & Blood,” the Scotland-based trio tenderly dissect the emotional implications that abound when family life gets toxic. It’s a heartbreaking piece because the pain here is palpable, but the band give a voice to those who fight day in and day out to emerge from close-to-home struggles. “Music really is a great catharsis for us,” multi-instrumentalist Nass tells us. “Writing about struggles with mental health, doubly so.”
“Flesh & Blood” opens with breathy vocals traveling like a wisp among a quiet synth line spaced far enough away that Amber’s voice is allowed the room to exhale that first poignant verse. Soon, streams of synth sparkles and percussive slaps begin floating around the vocals before the arrangement bursts into a louder, more expressive level of quiet emotion. The story is told in waves like this that move seamlessly from kissing the shore to diving back into the heart of the ocean, layers of booming percussion and mesmeric echos traveling the length of this dark-pop exploration on mental health.
The music video accompaniment for “Flesh & Blood” is just as dreamy but more visually disturbing. We watch the band deliver an emotive performance that chugs along even when it’s disrupted by puppets and puppeteers alike, acting out the motions and feelings they demand of the band. OK Button plays on while being wrapped up with sprawling lengths of string, a sinister metaphor for heart-deep manipulation. This is the magic of OK Button — they spin stories out of truth and they do not fear the telling.
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