Damien Q & Granular Injections – “H.O.T.” feat. David Downing – Single Review
Expanding your circle as an artist can be a great thing…sometimes it can be downright “H.O.T.” folks.
I’m about to go & tell ya that this is probably my favorite cut from Damien Q & his surrounding crew again…but there’s almost unique justification for my similar comments. The first part of it being that the pulse & sound of “H.O.T.” actually reminded me quite a bit of a previous single released by Damien & Granular Injections called “Slow Motion Dosing” – but in feeling that way & hearing those comparisons quickly dissolve as the new song played on, I couldn’t help but feel like I was hearing the advanced ultra-remix version somehow. It was like hearing this collaboration how it was truly meant to be all along, now fully realized.
And perhaps that’s just being more familiar with the ambitions, sound, and style of Damien Q at this point…maybe toss in a bit of Corona & isolation in here & there…many of my days blend together no matter how hard I try to keep’em separate. I even went back and listened to “Slow Motion Dosing” to see if I was crazy in my memory’s assessment between the similarities to “H.O.T.” – and to my rational mind, there’s no doubt whatsoever that both tunes are miles different…it’s a stylistic similarity…in fact that’s what a lot of folks in this business of ours out there tend to refer to as a signature style. A hard thing to obtain, but no mistaking it when you hear one – this collaboration, as I’ve said, is onto something special…sometimes it’s only by making something new that we realize what we wanted all along. “H.O.T.” is an example of the shared creativity between Damien Q & Granular Injections at 100%.
That being said…I toured through the back catalog again once I got there, because I’ve always enjoyed what this dude comes up with. Did you know there’s a savage remix of his single “Human To Human” out there? Good lord…what a frenzy of audible awesomeness…I didn’t even know this was out there!
Anyhow – “H.O.T.” indeed! After a thirty-second’s worth of subtle experimental sound starting it up, this collaboration roars to life and never lets up on this new single, masterfully revealing a design that absolutely keeps us completely engaged from beginning to end. From the curious way it starts, to the surge forward with the bass-lines & music filling in around the thirty-second mark, the fantastically slick vocals from Damien Q in the verses and the wild digital enhancements that get revealed at his most intense, the stunningly brilliant & haunting sound of Granular Injections in the chorus, all the way to the addition of cellist David Downing in the mix and the impressive lyrics you’ll find – honestly, what more could you want than everything they’re collectively givin’ ya? I’m the greediest among us when it comes to music…I pretty much always want MORE of something…but not this…this is 100% thoroughly spot-on.
In fact, I’d argue that “H.O.T.” displays such a remarkable balance of strengths that it’d be impossible for any of us to choose the main star of the show individually – and thankfully, none of us have to. You simply get to sit back and listen to this innovative chilled-out sound and its contrasting complex & thought-provoking words come atcha slow & steady, relax, and absorb the information & artistic & dreamy flow of the design to this composition. Downing certainly makes an extraordinary contribution here – like I said, ultimately, they ALL do in this collaboration – but consider that being the main change in the recipe overall…whether Damien Q & Granular Injections had it in their mind from moment one to open the doors of opportunity even further with a third partner, or whether they realized afterwards that this cut had the space for one more outstanding piece to come in & join them – the results speak for themselves, and you can hear the effect it has had on the entire vibe. Especially when you get that initial dose around the ninety-second mark…that’s when you can’t help but marvel at just how well all three of these innovative artists fit together inside this unbridled creativity as David sends them all gorgeously into the chorus. Everything you’ll hear from the music to the microphone is quite honestly, fully remarkable in just about every way I can think of, truly. How many songs can you think of where each layer not only provides some sort of unique contrast to the point where you can hear everything happening 100% clearly, AND you feel like each layer of sound still plays a complementary role to the next one? I know it’s a weird way to think about music…but consider what I’ve said…it’s extremely rare, but that’s exactly what they’ve pulled off here on “H.O.T.” together.
This is one of those situations that just brings a straight-up smile to a reviewer’s face like mine. I’ve got a hammock stretched out wide in between dimples here folks – I’m that proud of Damien Q, Granular Injections, and David Downing for what they’ve achieved here and how effective this collaboration is. Every time I find myself thinking, this is undeniably the best vocal performance I’ve heard from Damien, and without question my favorite words that I’ve heard him write so far, I’m usually right around the corner from the chorus, where I can’t help but think that what Granular Injections has laid down there vocally…is just straight-up beyond compelling. I love the part, I love the tone, I love whole flow & idea – it’s so low-key & understated, but combined with the dreamy vibes created by Downing on the cello…I mean it’s like the only word that comes to mind sincerely is WOW, as cheesy as that may seem to say. I find it’s best to just tell it like it is…and that’s what’s up, this single has the WOW factor at work from start to finish. It’s a master-class on the art of the reveal and clever structure without question – but more importantly, with each shift, transition, and new part added…there’s such impressive substance to be discovered that the uniqueness of “H.O.T.” is bound to be one of the most fascinating cuts of 2020 for us all. It’s artistic, it’s accessible, it’s a huge win for this collaborative effort, and for you all, as listeners out there – Damien Q, Granular Injections, and David Downing make serious magic together on this tune.
Find more music by Damien Q at his official page at Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7g9Vaj4bdBRc5YrYuWKfV6
Join the thousands of bands & artists reviewed at sleepingbagstudios by clicking here!