Assaulting us with a gorgeous bevy of melodic noise that doesn’t take much of a beat to really infect us with its physicality, harris’ new single “Made of Things” has the look and feel of something much more indulgent than what the standard has been in pop music over the last few years. There’s no question from the get-go in this performance that harris wants to make excess the centerpiece here, but he’s careful to avoid making every element of the song a bastion of his aesthetical desires. There’s a bit of old-school pop simplicity to the structure of “Made of Things” that saves the track from feeling too big for the radio, which is essential in making a smart piece of music.
Even though there are a lot of bass tones in the bottom end of this mix, it never feels like our singer is drowning in a vortex of rhythm when we get into the guts of the song. If anything, harris seems to thrive in this kind of environment, constantly pushing against the ocean of melodicism he’s conjured up with lyrics that are both cutting and rather telling of the kind of poetry he can spin together when his heart is in the game. It’s similar to the strengths we heard in his songs “Liquid Courage” and “Shapeshifter,” but perhaps a little more defined in this setting than I was initially expecting it to be (a sentiment that a lot of other fans are going to share this winter).
I love that the mix feels as weighty as it does, and had I been in the producer’s chair I wouldn’t have changed a single part of the way this track was constructed. We’re right in the middle of the action next to harris, standing in a hurricane of harmonies that might as well be the size of a tidal wave – and yet they don’t sound like they’re going to swallow us whole in some negative fashion. This is a performance that shows off how well this guy can work an arrangement that most of his peers would not know what to do with, and there’s nothing to suggest that our hero won’t get even more impressive with a little more time and experience under his belt.
The last two years have kept harris very busy, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down as 2023 comes into focus. He’s pressing on the gas pretty hard in terms of the concept we’re hearing in “Made of Things,” and I don’t think I’m the only one who wants to hear a whole album of material stylized the same way this single is. There’s more to be explored in this artist’s sound, and as much as he is pushing himself in the studio on a regular basis, I don’t think we’ve heard him at his peak just yet. His vocal is a gem for sure, but the real treasure to behold in “Made of Things” is the wallop that surrounds the lyrics.