Flooding ears with its signature smooth electronic sound, pop duo Marian Hill has made sure that its new single, “Eat U Alive,” is strikingly similar to its previously released discography. Fortunately for the group, it’s just what the doctor ordered. “Eat U Alive” satisfies the appetites of listeners who have hungered after more of the group’s fusion of electronic beats and jazz elements.
Dubbed electro-R&B, electro-jazz and everything in between, Marian Hill’s sound is distinct and innovative. It walks the line between hard electronic dance music, or EDM, and an eclectic, contemporary mix of a multitude of genres. “Eat U Alive,” off of the group’s new EP was it not, follows the duo’s recipe for success to a T.
The beauty of the song is that it’s subtly layered with different instruments. The song begins with a heavy bass drum, which refuses to soften for a moment as the song continues. Then, the tighter jazz-inspired drums briefly pop in, followed by a distorted synth breakdown. The cycle repeats.
“Eat U Alive” is fresh and modern yet somehow timeless in its melding of genres and eras. It crafts a lovely, dark atmosphere. The sultry, soothing vocals of singer Samantha Gongol emulate that of a lounge singer, a fitting juxtaposition to the electronic strokes orchestrated by production artist Jeremy Lloyd. The song also features a saxophone, complete with a lively solo toward the end of the song.
The lyrics, on the other hand, are simple yet meaningful. They may border on blind proclamations that vaguely convey lust or love, but they do not make the easy mistake of falling into this rut. The sound of Gongol’s talented voice is clearly what listeners focus on. When the lyrics do happen to slip into listeners’ minds amid the competing beats and vocals, however, the words actually register. When Gongol sings, “I feel myself getting close to you/ I’m tired of doing what I’m supposed to do,” it resonates with listeners because of the sense of anticipation it stirs up.
The song strives to command attention with booming beats and unexpected incorporations of jazz. But as with most strains of electronic music, “Eat U Alive” suffers from slipping into repetitive and bland territory during some beat patterns. The duo tries to remedy this with beat switch-ups, but even these unfortunately begin to grow tiresome with repeated listening.
With “Eat U Alive,” Marian Hill follows in the footsteps of many electronic groups, choosing to release new music consistent with established sounds rather than experimenting. For Marian Hill, this choice paid off — the group was able to put out a song that is unique but still quintessentially Marian Hill. “Eat U Alive” has all the aspects that fans know and love, while not tiring out the formula too much.
Pooja Bale covers music. Contact her at [email protected].