6th November 2023
City Park, Saux and Sjaak, are a duo from Amsterdam that are a strong force in the most subdue way. Their R&B influences, blended with their sense of tranquillity is something that is more desired, and is definitely a sound that deserves a higher recognition and place upon the charts to rival off these so-called artists.
City Park seems a juxtaposition in itself, with the busy metropolis a city life offers, contrasting to those moments of tranquillity and serenity found in parks. What City Park’s latest EP, ‘Balance / Contrast’, gives its listener is that serenity, that moment to place your headphones in on the bus/walking/working and just connect with yourself, and most importantly, breathe.
The simplicity of the song ‘Who Am I’ reinforces the concept of ‘less is more’, with the drum beat taking a lesser presence on the track, allowing the listener to become encapsulated by the guitar and bass. As the bass sounds like it has been submerged in water, we too enter a flow that is dreamy and soothing, whilst layering the jangling guitar gives the body a means to move, a dance to express freedom with no rules or expectations of how to move.
With subdue music, it may feel natural to draw links between City Park and Tame Impala, but this band holds their own. A band you may not draw initial comparisons to is Nothing But Thieves, not in terms of genre or style, but their lead vocalist, Conor Mason. Mason’s soft and gentle vocals is exactly what is channelled across this EP. They are not overpowering or dominating, they are tactile and inviting, hypnotising and lyrical. As the line ‘I believe it’s natural’ flows through our ears, it is only right to think that this song has come naturally gifted to us, as well as commenting on our own movements to the song.
The title of the song, ‘Who Am I’, initially draws questions as to whom the subject matter is; the band, the singer, or us? Personally, we learn about each other in tandem, as the song demonstrates the musical talent that the duo Saux and Sjaak possess, but the way we express ourselves through movement in direct response to the music produced also tells us who we are.
The song is extremely well mixed and edited, which supports the pacing of the song as it never becomes boring, treading that fine line of keeping the listener engaged but also keeps us lulled. Although the song hits the perfect length for radio play, the song leaves its listener wanting more, which speaks volumes for the song, as well as the rest of the EP.
I highly encourage whoever is reading this to follow and support City Park, because I have no doubt that this band will find success. It is just up to us, the humble listener, to take them out of these hidden parks, and into the bustling life of the city.
Listen to the EP, ‘Balance / Contrast’, starting with ‘Who Am I’ linked below. Adore the accompanying artwork created by Zarlasht Zia. The band have collaborated with a range of artists from across the world, from German artist Tatjana Prenzel, to Korean artist Jiye Kim, making every one of their singles exciting and truly about artists uplifting one another, whatever medium.