Philadelphia’s own Son Step has spent the past few years making incredibly interesting music. Their 2012 album Here Comes Dreamboat is rife with dissonant rhythms and harmony. That is what first drew me to Son Step. Their music is very unique in its timbre as well as rhythm and song construction.
The song “Right Times” is a great representation of what I love about Son Step’s sound. The rhythm of the song is in 7. At first it start very simply with just a snare and kick hit. Because of the odd time signature, the beat feels very wobbly. This is the tension brought on by rhythmic dissonance. I feel like this concept is totally underutilized in music. On top of that is a flowing melody. This grounds the music, keeping it within a musical structure that is familiar. In the background ”crunchy” vocal harmonies add an eerie quality to the song.
As the song progresses, more percussion and other eclectic timbres get added. More and more over time. The added percussion builds upon that wobbly foundation, and gives it a sense of stability even though the time signature does not change. The music comes to a peak at the end of the song, while this large build up of rhythm, harmony, and volume comes to a head, then quietly dies off.
I feel that “Right Times” is a great example of a song taking you on a “musical journey.” It starts in one place, and by the end, it really changes the way you feel. I’m excited a band like this exists, and anxiously await more music from them.