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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Takeaway Cup" - Chris Bates

Breaking away from the measured balladry of previous singles, Chris Bates sharpens his pop songwriting into a breezy rush of sugary melody on "Takeaway Cup." The Auckland-based singer maintains his trademark airiness, but there's a newfound sense of bliss in his voice as he slips into his higher register. The track's peak is snuck into the bridge, a fitting subversion for a song about the mystery of future love. The atmospheric trip-hop of previous single, "Trust Nobody" returns, but it's rendered in brighter tones. Modulated echoes and waves of synths ripple through the mix, adding to the dreamlike quality. Tying it together is the glossy production pulling from the vast ranges of contemporary pop to create an earworm of lush samples and vocal layering.

Like the giddy daydream of its sound, "Takeaway Cup" places Bates in the center of listless fantasy. "Are you near or are you overseas," he asks a future love with the warmth of familiarity. With infinite possibilities of what this girl could be like, the "Used to This" singer poses questions with a jubilant excitement. "I wanna know!" He repeats on the chorus. The openness to which he asks each question is unconditional, bringing out the thrill of possibility rather than any judgement. Whoever she is, he's simply overjoyed to become close. It's the kind of hopeful charm that gives a song like "Takeaway Cup" its engine. Unmediated by doubts or regrets, Bates imagines a future in which warmth is in abundance.

With the release of his debut EP in 2020, Chris Bates became an indie pop voice for the wistful, the fatigued, and the restless. His moody combination of trip-hop, balladry, and pop made for the perfect sound of melancholia. With the consistent release of singles and a sophomore EP, Bates has since built off these qualities and broadened into pop's greater periphery. The New Zealand artist plans to release his third EP on the way. On "Takeaway Cup," Bates took inspiration from the upbeat pop of current stars like Justin Bieber, Charlie Puth, and Phil Collins. The song released with official visuals by Christian Tjandrawinata, which you can see above.

Written By Andy M.

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