Today’s Song: Bold and Bright, Lake Street Dive Kindle a Fire with “Hypotheticals”

Lake Street Dive © Shervin Lainez
In a cheeky confession, Lake Street Dive set their sights on the flirtatious future with “Hypotheticals” off their seventh studio album, ‘Obviously.’
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Listen: “Hypotheticals” – Lake Street Dive

We’ve all done it. One conversation with the right person can turn you into an amateur detective, leave you scanning the backgrounds of Instagram posts, or desperate for an excuse to text them. “Who am I?” you ask yourself as you apply more than the appropriate amount of mascara. Lake Street Dive knows the feeling, and “Hypotheticals” encapsulates it almost too well.

Obviously – Lake Street Dive

Maintaining their genre-bending sound, “Hypotheticals” is a perfect blend of indie pop, jazz, and soul; the work burrows into your head and refuses to get out. It begins as a daydream, slowly sweeping you away with its shine and sparkle. The groove trickles in through an arpeggiation of instruments, as lead singer Rachel Price croons her introduction. She sets the stage, “Obviously we’re at the beginning of something, I don’t expect you to know where its gonna go.” Initial shyness evaporates as Price decides “maybe you should know.” Lake Street Dive wastes no time with flights of fancy, they lay it all out on the line.

Quick and clever, Price reveals, “I got a plan A and I got a plan B/ And if it’s absolutely necessary, we’ll go to plan C.” Price’s voice is an enigma. Her sound combines the best of rich soul and exciting agility, allowing for flawless transitions. She glides around her higher register with ease and leans into the darker part of her voice expressively. Chords block with her voice like clockwork. The end of each phrase allows for Price’s vocals and the band’s magic touch to bleed into one, creating a cohesive metronome within an unorthodox beat. Bridget Kearney’s funky bass bleeds through the thick atmosphere of the work, clear, and irresistible.

Lake Street Dive © Shervin Lainez

Anchoring the work is a repeated chromatic transition, which serves as a stepping stone. It takes the hand of the listener and leads them to the chorus. The hypotheticals in question are explained, as the band breaks it down: “I’ve been writing your name down next to mine/ Been imagining all the things you and I could do.” The image hits close to home, communicating the early stages of attraction the listener is all too familiar with.

A groovy keyboard solo by the effervescent Akie Bermiss brings us to the bridge, where Price croons over the plucking of the keys, “Hypothetically yes/ Theoretically forever/ We’ll see what happens but I hope we will never be apart.” Her voice rings through the accompaniment of the rhythm section, stripping back the sound but not the excitement. The chorus breaks through again, leading us to the end of a wonderfully crafted spectacle. The band repeats the familiar words as Price improvises over the harmonizations. Ending as suddenly as it began, the chromatic phrase brings the piece to a close.

Anxiety-inducing and exciting, limbo is an experience that can seldom be described in its full glory. Within the dark chamber of questions, doubts, and desperation, there exists a small meadow of flowers, inviting the visitor to partake in the ancient ritual of “He loves me, he loves me not.” Don’t worry, Lake Street Dive has found a way to tell the full story, complete with all its apprehensions and exhilarations. No one is immune to the feeling, and it’s a good thing Lake Street Dive is along for the ride.

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Listen: “Hypotheticals” – Lake Street Dive

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? © Shervin Lainez

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