What a pleasant surprise this was. ANTIBES, the 4-piece hailing from Verona, Italy, present their debut single ‘Naked’. This is a very impressive beginning for a group only putting out their first single, demonstrated by some fantastic production and songwriting ability.

The song begins with a dreamy like introduction, presenting the eerily captivating main vocal melody. The vocal performance is great throughout the piece, showing comfort in switching from chest voice into head voice. I suspect that there is a lot more that this band will have to show us vocally down the line, definitely something to keep an ear out for.

Something else to mention regarding the introduction is the ukulele. This is an instrument that typically can be quite grating on the ears if not mixed correctly. Thankfully this is not the case here. It adds a brightness and gentleness to the overall sound of the song that elevates it just a little bit more than acoustic guitar would in this context.

It achieves this by clever use of dynamics, a little bit of the high end taken off to subtract some of the harshness of the instrument. A little bit of reverb tops this off, and it works so well in this song. I cannot decide whether this part or the vocals are the star of the show, so I’ll go with both.

As the song builds and the synths make themselves known, a finger picked bass line kicks in that almost acts as a counter melody that compliments the vocals and ukulele. It has a really warm sound and sits in the mix comfortably, balancing out the more eerie nature of the other components to the song.

Both vocal sections in this song each have their own repeating melody, and both are catchy as hell. The second vocal section is where the lyrics, performance and expression all culminate into a cohesive unit. As a result, and as a listener, this is where we really believe in what the vocalist has to say; something which is a lot harder to pull off than one might think.

It’s hard not to get lost in this song; it has a soothing, laid back groove that carries the listener throughout its runtime. Each instrumental section slowly adds new layers in such a way that it feels just right, no section ever outstays its welcome. The simplicity, flow and pacing are just perfect.

Following this, is an instrumental outro that has a more minor feel to it, where all the instruments are at their most dynamic. This shows a nice really nice progression that plays the song out beautifully.

As I read over this review, one thing I have noticed is that I have not said anything negative about this song. It all just meshes together so well, the heartwarming message told through the lyrics, the cohesive nature of all the songs parts, and the really well paced sections that are just long enough. Maybe I’m biased, as I feel like this song has really just struck a chord with me. I know this, because even though I have to listen to it multiple times whilst reviewing it, I just had it on repeat the whole time whilst writing, swaying along to it.

Cheesy conclusion? Yes. Cheesy review? Most definitely. That being said, you should go and listen to this immediately.