Ruven – “Alarming Times”


“Alarming Times” is a suavely infectious track from Ruven, the project of Virginia native Brian Parker. The production excels, expanding from funk-tinged, late-night pop alongside electronic and rock-forward flourishes. The eclectic yet accessible drive is enjoyable throughout. A suavely entrancing bass line and vocal styling engage to start, with a catching pulse at the 47-second mark unveiling a lovely hook. Parker dubs the track a “self-produced dystopian jam,” marking the project’s first vocal release in several years, following an emphasis on instrumental electronic music. Look for a string of singles and virtual performances in 2021.

Parker elaborates more on the track below:

“I couldn’t have foreseen the barrage of events that was 2020, but the song’s critical themes felt even more relevant as the year went on. I love a slightly uncomfortable contrast between message and sound so I dressed the absurdity in pop clothes, channeling the palpable disorientation with 2000s Neptunian vocal stacks and retro soul grooves.”

“Alarming Times” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2020’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Funk, Soul, and R&B.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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