by Sophy Ziss (@sophyish)
From the first note, “No” is catchy, melodic, and soothing – but it’s far from a happy tune. Released earlier this month, it’s the first appearance of Eric Slick (Dr. Dog, Lithuania) as a solo artist. And this dude has some feelings.
The opening lyrics -- “No, it isn’t the way that you look/It isn’t a thing I can tell you/You have to see it on your own,” -- are intriguingly vague. It sounds like it might just be the standard love song set-up, a “What Makes You Beautiful” for the experimental indie-pop crowd. Instead, it’s something much better: a mysterious, heartfelt, angst-drenched ode to something that’s gone terribly wrong.
“You’re never gone as much as you say you are,” Slick laments. But even when the person is around, there’s still an air of distance. Ostensibly, it’s a love song, but maybe a “former love” song would be a more apt descriptor; the sharpness of the lyrics cut through the track’s soft loveliness. And while “No” is not entirely mournful, it’s obvious Slick has only partially moved past the events that inspired the song. As the harmonies swirl, he calmly references wanting to die.
The song’s ‘60s feel and mellow tempo -- enhanced by the appearance of an actual mellotron -- creates the air of a lullaby throughout. But don’t be fooled; even at the track’s prettiest-sounding moments, Slick softly intones “Don’t lie to me, don’t lie…”
Overall, “No” is an ideal end-of-summer tune, and impossibly good first solo release. But, word of advice: Don’t put this on a mix for someone you still like.