It isn’t uncommon to find oneself standing at a crossroads, torn between two equally enticing alternatives, wondering which path will lead us toward optimal happiness. But is it possible to have both? Is it possible to mend our ideological quandaries?
At the intersection of electro-pop and folk, we find Wingtip’s genre bending single “Pavement”— a song that proves that disparate influences can be combined into sonic beauty; that two paths diverged can and should be combined.
A slowly crescendoing electronic ambience introduces this track, quickly giving way to country-inspired acoustic guitars accompanied by heavy percussive beats. However, this folk melody which is a refreshing, new addition to Wingtip’s mostly electro-pop discography, takes a paradigm shift just over a minute in. Suddenly, listeners are thrust into an electronic breakdown that feels like quintessential modern pop, (think Lauv’s “I Like Me Better”).
This electronic sound also feels quintessentially Wingtip. Wingtip is the moniker for songwriter/producer Nick Perloff-Giles, who in 2017, gained acclaim with his single, “Rewind”: a dance pop track that amassed over 39 million streams on Spotify.
Unlike other popular dance tracks which sometimes allow the lyrical content to be bested by an infectious hook, Wingtip doesn’t shy away from infusing his lyrics with deep meaning. With “Rewind,” Wingtip tells the nostalgic tale of wanting to return to the initial stages of a relationship as he remembers a lost love. “Pavement” tells a tangential story.
Throughout this track, Wingtip wistfully muses about a long gone love, presenting a view of the past that isn’t rose-tinted but is rather raw in its attempt to discover how the relationship ended. Like the narrative told by the ever genre-changing backbeat, “Pavement’s” lyrics tell a similarly complex tale. For Wingtip, this love story is turbulent, filled with feelings of both love and dejection.
Quietly, quietly it grows
Ripping at the seams
How did we
How did we get lost
In these old city streets
Used to be, used to be in love
Now our eyes never meet
As he tries to answer the question, “What happened to us?” Wingtip finds himself at a crossroads between settling for a diminished relationship and simultaneously wanting to revive it.
Oh, I can feel the light fading
You still have some fire worth saving
Yet, unlike how he easily finds the intersection between seemingly antithetical electronic and folk sounds, ultimately blending them into an upbeat hit, contending with these contradictory feelings seems to be a more difficult and emotionally taxing task. The path to optimal happiness seems unclear.
Oh, spill the blood on the pavement
Oh lord you can tell I’m wasted
Oh lord you can tell I’m wasted
Despite the dispirited tone of these lyrics, Wingtip’s “Pavement” is my feel-good song of the summer; if not for its upbeat acoustic, electro-pop tone then for its timely rumination on connection lost. Feeling devoid of connection seems like the new normal as we descend into the latter half of the year, still with seemingly steadfast barriers placed on human interaction by COVID-19. We are all collectively faced with the impasse of wanting to protect others and the incessant human need for companionship. So, to see someone at a crossroads of a similar nature is utterly comforting, and to see it beautifully packaged within a genre-blending melody is evidence that two disparate paths can merge.