Netherlands-based producer Chris Hue and vocalist MAY BBY's recent joint singles displayed heaps of potential as new envelope-pushing artists, as well as their collaborative alt-pop EP, Counting Hours. Respectively their debut projects as well, their synergy is nothing short of remarkable, and with any luck, this won't be the last we hearing from them collaboratively.
The titular opening salvo, "Counting Hours" performs as an overture for the project, and establishes the shadowy, minimal aesthetic that's concurrent throughout. Explaining the track in an email statement, they share that, "'Counting Hours’ uses the metaphor of being physically trapped in an empty room to describe the feeling of being stuck in your own head. Feeling completely powerless and alone, as if you are never going to break out of this dark place," a concept propelled by a foreboding bassline and percussive ticks of a clock. They continue, "whilst the song is melancholic in its subject matter, it is also very energetic, fierce and upbeat, setting the tone for the entire EP, which follows this theme."
"Don't Tell Me" follows, and MAY BBY's range becomes more evident, seamlessly fluctuating between a soaring falsetto and more reserved, breathy tones. The project then leads into the previously released teaser singles, and as "Euphoria" elapses, you start to notice another pillar in the projects remarkable foundation. It's a true masterclass in dynamics, Chris masterfully utilises negative space as much he does consciously, with every element meticulously placed in the sparse, yet oceans deep atmosphere.
"New Friend," an almost oxymoronic blend of tense emotion and upbeat pop closes out the energetic shades of the EP before the rapturous and understated ballad "Leave" completes the project with perhaps the most emotively moving passage.
Counting Hours is out now via FUGA.