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Derek Lai is a pop singer from Toronto, Canada. The up-and-coming artist has had a lifelong passion for music and intertwines emotional themes with soaring guitar instrumentals to form his signature sound. “Blankets” is his debut single. The track details a wintery romance that heats up the cold and snowy nights but is doomed from the beginning to turn icy. If anyone can reach in and touch your soul this man can. His voice is haunting and the lyrics are brilliant. The guy is such an amazing songwriter that it’s easy to just get lost in his storytelling. The song is written well both musically and lyrically and he’s done a few different things in his music to keep it exciting.

The intricate and elegant guitar work is there in spots but there are also a lot of ebbs and flows and peaks, in the background arrangement. His style drifts towards the classic songwriters that once changed the world of music, except his working in the modern music idiom.

 Derek Lai is the kind of sensitive singer-songwriter who will never go out of style. “Blankets” is a refreshing and catchy number with Lai working a soulful chill-pop that should definitely be expanded on in future releases.

There’s a definite confidence, groove and freshness to this tune; and what’s interesting is that it’s already better than all the singles many of his peers have put out this year so far. In my view, it’s mainly due to Derek Lai doing music simply the way he wants to. He is in his comfort zone, which keeps everything smooth and real.

Derek understands how the floodgates of desire open up. It is pure joy, pure uplift, and pure power; it feels the terrifying swoop of new lust as though nobody, least of all its deliverer, has ever felt like that before. It is in all ways an unparalleled sensation…if you exclude the feeling of when that sensation disappears into nothingness.

“Blankets” stays on the best side of emotional, steering away from unnecessary melodrama. You’ll also notice after a couple of verses that Lai’s vocals leave nothing to be desired, and your ears will be hooked to his catchy indie pop style.

The single has absolutely no shortcomings. The only thing that can be pointed out, is that, yes it’s only a single. This is the type of chill groove music you could devour an album’s worth of. I cannot remember the last time I listened to a debut with this much joy, and this much awe.

Part of what gives Derek Lai’s lyricism its heft is the music itself, bar none the best chill indie-pop production I’ve heard in the past few months from an independent artist. Everything is tinted with just the right amount of nostalgic positivity.

Sentimental relationships are frustratingly complicated at times, and often hopelessly miserable, but the fugitive nuggets of joy hidden in every awkward early transition, makes the whole ordeal worthwhile. And “Blankets”, in its own way, confirms that. Derek Lai lures you into a full-bodied embrace with his music, it’s simply up to you to give him the chance to do so.


By staff

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