Written by Sarah Ross
“My Kind”, the first single off of Max Gowan’s upcoming album Last Companion, is a rich experience worthy of more than a curious stream. If this single is an indicator of the album as a whole, we are in good hands.The melody evokes the same emotions as the lyrics by themselves, striking somewhere between well-wishing and melancholy while resolving into a glimmer of hope.
Gowan’s vocals are soft yet meaningful. They feel poised, coming from the back of your throat as you say something earnest and personal. He works with the instruments rather than on top of them, letting each flow into its own soft rhythm as you walk through reminiscing on last year, being tired of oneself and trying to hold on.
“My Kind” ebbs and flows between bright riffs and mellow moments balanced by soft backing vocals. This balance is in part thanks to the vocals of Caroline of Infinity Crush, whose feature verse and higher timbre fit delicately into Gowan’s sound. Her verse also brings us to the lyrical second person as she sings “now you’ve got a hold on me.” It’s pleasantly unclear who the “you” is; “you” can be directed towards the other voice or towards another person or thought altogether.
A good song tells you a story, whether lyrically, melodically or rhythmically, that is both identifiable as its own and yet relatable enough for you to immerse yourself in it. “My Kind” does not ask anything of you but rather pours a bittersweet, needed reminder of the everyday beauty of small talk and life’s ups and downs.
Suffice to say, times like these can throw us for a loop. “My Kind”’s exploration of feeling down offers a sound that can perhaps serve as the next step in our emotional cycles. At the end of the day, no matter how I’m feeling, I want to move beyond pleasantries and extend a hopefully sincere “I’m doing fine, sending wishes back to you and your kind”.
You can stream “My Kind” below:
Sarah Ross is a freelance writer, editor at the Rival American and rising second semester senior at American University.