With its enigmatic beauty, intoxicating depth and intense emotion, the follow-up to “High” is one of the most intriguing records of the year so far. The lyrics are elliptical and fragmented, touching on addiction, identity and eroticism. The track’s mood is druggy, dislocated and tortured – there are frequent metaphoric references to substances and psychedelics – the shape-shifting structure of “High” will capture your attention from top to bottom. Snapshots of elusive love and fleeting lust are scattered throughout – for whom, or for what, is where you need to read between the lines.
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of California, Onicks transposes crystal-clear artistry through an afflicted complexion; emotional, cerebral, and somewhat mesmerizing, the avant-garde pop project stands as one of deep-rooted expression, considering addiction, introspection, and desire for life’s necessities as well as it’s exquisite luxuries.
Growing up, and learning to play several instruments, including the drums, trumpet, and keyboards, Onicks has often walked the darker road towards his destiny. However music has been his savior on many occasions. At age 14, his parents decided to retire early and moved to a town called Broomfield in Colorado, which negatively affected Onicks, and drove him to seek the darker side of the world, where hedonism and rebellion reigned.
After high school, Onicks released two singles – “Double Dose” and “Manimal” – which became extremely popular in the LGBTQ community worldwide. It seemed as if the artist had finally defeated his demons.
A relapse was just around the corner though, and Onicks fell back into the tunnel of torture. Once again he turned his life around and rediscovered his passion for music. The proof of his endeavors is apparent in “High”.
As filtered through electronic technology as it is, the track feels authentically human, Onick’s voice driving like a nail between eeriness and emotion. The singer’s creative process is fueled by perfectionism – there’s a focus on the vibe, on the confessionalism, while the production is undoubtedly cutting edge modern.
Onicks recreates the feeling of distanced isolation from obsessing over his desires. It’s an artist caught confronting his vulnerabilities, and owning his weaknesses. The track’s greatest feat is its ability to expand when it’s listened to in a new mindset.
Onicks sings with multiple overlapping voices, which creates an incredibly ethereal atmosphere. The song invokes a sense of longing and loneliness, yet Onicks seems to feel empowered, by carrying his responsibilities by himself. Onicks’ vocals shine here, with its stacked harmonies, while the stellar production drives the song’s core.
“High” is a deep slow-burn. It reels you in from the first note and refuses to let you go, even far after the track is finished. It’s the song you never want to end. Though his words cut to the bone, Onicks is more than his voice, and “High” sees him illustrate all the ways in which he’s a true artist. Regardless of your genre preference, if you can only download one stunning single this month, let it be “High”.