In the world of EDM, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of self-produced originals and remixes that seem to arrive everyday. But 20-year-old Nick O’Neill from Virginia, otherwise known as Módl, is absolutely not lost in this sea of EDM emerging artists — he’s a positive standout with a fresh energy which inevitably makes impact in the genre.
Although based in Washington, D.C., Módl has a strong international following, having recently released a remix of “Inside Out” for The Chainsmokers. He’s accumulated millions of plays online, currently picking up 100,000 monthly streams on Spotify. “Unrequited,” featuring hypnotic vocals by Clare Szembek from chart-topping UK band Captain, is Módl’s newest original (released on November 25, 2016).
Listen: “Unrequited” – Módl feat. Clare Szembek
The track starts with soft piano tones that create a peaceful and almost eerie atmosphere in the song. Szembek’s voice enters with a swell, adding so many elements to the track. The ease and rasp of her voice brings the lyrics to life, while her urgency and emotion pairs with the music to elevate the song to another level.
We’re holding on so tightly you’re never ours to own,
Saving sounds you make to try to keep you home
But oceans lie between us, you’re night and we are day,
Distance is what frees us from things too late to say
As Szembek sings the verse, underlying synth tones support the meaning while a steady beat builds continuously until it drops around the one minute mark of the song, allowing Módl’s producing chops to come through. The drop of that beat is the culmination of what Szembek is trying to get through with the lyrics and her vocals. If you close your eyes while taking in all of the elements in Módl’s music, at that moment in the song, it’s almost as if it’s swirling around you head, allowing you to reflect on the lyrics and take in the meaning. The music then falls with twinkling piano tones, synth and a steady clap while ultimately fading into the final lyrics—which encapsulate the entire message of the song.
Someday there’ll be room in our heads, but for now there’s you
Familiar voices holding memories hands and it’s always you
“Unrequited” is so eloquently produced. It’s easy to see that Módl meticulously thought through every aspect of the production. From Szembek’s vocals, to the lyrics, to each build and drop of the beat, to even the album art (which portrays two hands almost touching), his production weaves the music and lyrics together as one, capturing the essence of the song. Módl has a way of making an EDM track incredibly soulful, which isn’t exactly the first word that exactly comes to mind when you hear the word EDM. His tracks are deep, yet filled with energy.
Watch out for Módl, because he is absolutely making his way through the weeds of the EDM world. Track by track he gains more attention, hungry to become bigger and better. We’ll be seeing more of him—and we should all be eager to hear what he comes up with next.
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