Black City Lights premiere “Reminisce”, a live audience favorite that was recently recorded proper that mashes together the Fugees' “Ready or Not”, TLC's “No Scrubs” with borrowed quips from Rihanna's “Umbrella”. The Wellington, New Zealand duo of Calum Robb and Julia Catherine Parr of “Parallels” fame unveil their new reminiscent universes with the following statement;
“Something we made by accident whilst practicing [mash up.cover.original], this wont be on the upcoming album…just a bit of fun.”
Calum and Julia begin with their signature smoke capturing sound, foreboding yet inviting minor keys, and the initiating drum clasps that signal the rhythm machine sequencing. With synthesized vocal chorus overlays, Julia Catherine steps into her best Lauryn Hill chorus hook of, “ready or not, here I come, you can't hide, gonna find you and take it slowly,” before diving into the TLC “A scrub is a guy that thinks he's fly, he's also known as a buster, always talkin' about what he wants and just sits on his broke ass”. While the familiar r n' b lyrics spill forth from Julia's fountainous vocal flow, the synthesizers swoon to the tune of what sounds like a 90s urban after-school special under the careful guidance counseling of Rob and Parr's alt-auditorium directions.
For the bridge, Julia summons a ghostly rendition of Rihanna's “Umbrella” with; “You can run into my arms, it's okay don't be alarmed, come into me, there's no distance in between our love, so go on and let the rain pour, I'll be all you need and more”. Balancing the the pop radio out pour of amour, the New Zealand synth duo is as quick to flip the switches back to the trap keyboard audio washes while waxing deadbeat perjoratives. “Oh no, I don't want no scrubs, a scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me, hangin' out the passenger side, of his best friend's ride, trying to holla at me (repeat)”. Spinning the dance hits fever full circle, Calum and Julia slow it down with the anxious hearted possibility keys twinkling while taking it back to the vintage Lauryn Hill modus operandi: “Ready or not, here I come, you can't hide, gonna find you and make you want me”.
Black City Lights' Parallels EP is available now while their full-length is coming later this year from Stars & Letters.