In the first single off his forthcoming EP Emotional Robots, Son! (formerly known as LordoftheFly) offers a glimpse into the internal workings of a loving but perhaps fleeting relationship.
On “WHAT’S GOOD,” Son!, real name Daniel Kaplan, takes another delve into emotionally-laden, synth-washed song-writing. As demonstrated on his loosie “Dog,” the University of Wisconsin First Wave alumna Kaplan has a knack for channeling the complications of interpersonal relationships into song.
This time, he sings and slowly raps about what appears to be a romantic connection. In it, Kaplan lays down a loose narrative, trying to get a sense of the thoughts and feelings running through his partner’s head in the first verse. He also lays down resplendent scenic imagery when he writes, “You draw a face on the window/the street light casts you yellow/but you don’t smile anymore since the winter/I breathe out and you do it again.”
Lines like these show that even when so close to another being, it’s impossible to truly know what’s running through the other person’s head.
This is where the chorus comes in, provided by Slow Pulp’s Emily Massey, where she sings, “(But) you always let me (let me) know what’s good.”
These two words, “what’s good,” are so simple yet so stirring. They show the importance of communication in romance and Kaplan’s lyrics show the importance of wanting one’s partner to communicate. Look at nearly any rom-com, and see how many of them would’ve resolved without any conflict had the two lovebirds just communicated instead of assumed what the other person was thinking. Love is powerful but not perfect, and the Kaplan-Massey pair has an acute understanding of this.
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Kaplan also flaunts his ever-growing talent as a producer as well. The synthy instrumental is not loaded, letting the vocals and lyrics take up the needed space to convey their messages. It also offers perfect little accents, like the horn, here and there to offer some light stylings alongside the song’s heavy subject matter.
Knowing Kaplan’s eclectic taste, “WHAT’S GOOD” will likely not be an indicator of what the rest of the EP is to sound like, but if the other tracks match the quality of this first single, then the potential is there for a stellar project.