At a time when physical distance and isolation are emphasized, it takes a special kind of artist to use sound to transport you directly inside their creative space. The feeling when viewing Cuban-born Soft Glas’ new single “Cyclones” gives the illusion as though you’ve been teleported directly across from the singer, as he grapples with his anxieties and everyday worries. Soft Glas, aka Joao Gonzalez, describes the song as, “An inner dialogue with my anxiety, almost like an ongoing discussion with my own turbulent thoughts.” A deeply personal track that straddles a very careful line between optimism and melancholy, the bubbly chorus and bouncy drums seem to reinvigorate the track as it matures to a sweet ballad about acknowledging one’s flaws and moving forward, imperfections in tow. A simple jazz-infused melody combined with Gonzalez’s filtered vocals play perfectly into a track that feels as appropriate for a lazy, rainy day as it does for a Summer drive with the windows down. This coalescence of opposing emotions is what makes the music of Soft Glas so unique and is part of what provides such a great degree of replay value.
The video, made up of a series of photo stills following Gonzalez through a typical day in the life, is shaky and in a constant state of flux, much like, as Gonzalez describes, “a day in my scattered mind.” Although constantly in motion, the stills never lose the soft vulnerability of the track, nor do they downplay the cathartic message of the chorus. Because the past year has been a test for everyone, the theme of overcoming fears and shortcomings and learning to live at peace with them is thoroughly relevant and hits a note that resonates deep within the collective conscious.
The son of celebrated jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Gonzalez has been making music from an early age after being influenced heavily by his father’s recordings. After a series of reinventions, he began releasing music as Soft Glas beginning with his debut EP Dos in 2016 and following with a string of acclaimed albums since with 2017’s Orange Earth and 2020’s Stunned. Planning to release a new LP in the Spring of 2021, the NYC-based artist continues to provide a footprint for reinvention in the bedroom-pop genre while never backing down from the complex and daunting themes of modern life.