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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "New Masculine" - ENGEL

Redefining masculinity has been a constant and ongoing goal of society. The less constricted people are by the expectations of "femininity" and "masculinity," the freer they are to express their true self without the burden of shame and judgement. It's on this subject that upcoming Danish singer/songwriter ENGEL writes his latest single, "New Masculine." The fingerpicking provides a somber undercurrent to the indie-pop sound, reminiscent of Ed Sheeran and John Mayer. As ENGEL's husky vocals remark on personal and broad experiences with masculinity, the pristine productions opens up to shimmering effect. Soft distortion and hazy synth pads heighten the intensity without losing the sense of melancholy. In the excellent bridge, ENGEL's reverb-soaked vocals sing alone over quiet echoes of synth tones.

While approaching the topic from a deeply personal level, "New Masculine" has a broad scope in its engagement with toxic masculinity. To fit in, ENGEL had felt the need to conform to what was expected of men. "I tried to hide the feminine," he admits on the rousing chorus. The constricting nature of gendered expectations is expressed vividly. "Don't speak up, be one of the guys, no one asked you," he rattles off like a mantra. But he's come to the realization that he won't be truly happy unless he breaks away from these principles. "I hope before I turn 27 there'll be more men that cry." The freedom to express emotions must be a shared experience.

Growing up in Denmark, USA, and Australia, singer/songwriter ENGEL was constantly reintroducing himself to a new crowd. This inspired the themes of hiding one's true self to fit into the crowd in his latest single "New Masculine." Influenced by the likes of John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, James Bay, and Lauv, ENGEL leans into the most vulnerable and revealing aspects of songwriting. Since the release of his debut single "Ready For Healing (blame)" last year, the Danish artist has been preparing for the release of his debut EP by playing various venues. The project, titled "The Man Inside," will release this September. His intensely personal music combines pop and rock sounds with guitar-driven storytelling.

Written By Andy M.



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