Vocal depth is more important than any other feature in modern pop music, and if you didn’t think so before hearing the new single “He Reminds Me of You” by The High Plains Drifters, I do believe listening to the song’s powerhouse hook might change your mind. Fusing the qualities of an old school pop song with the sheer ferocity of a contemporary multi-hyphenate, The High Plains Drifters deliver a performance in this single that feels a lot more texturally present than it ever does reliant on artificialities and tonal charms to win over the critics and pop’s most dedicated fans, and it all starts with the potency of their verses. This is a band that I don’t imagine needing a lot of synthetic help to sound like an ace, and judging from the makeup of this piece, I appear to be correct.
The lyrical strengths in “He Reminds Me of You” are made more or less undeniable through the calm, swaggering demeanor with which The High Plains Drifters offer every word to us, but I don’t think their lines are sufficiently emotive solely due to their singing style. There’s an unfiltered edge to their poetic sensibilities that makes me wonder just how far they could push themselves in a more stripped-down setting; truth be told, I think there’s enough of a sarcastic accent to this release for us to assume they’re got a lot more wit where this came from. They don’t have a hard time holding back, and that’s completely inarguable now that we have this song to go off of.
This bassline and the melodies for that matter could have been separated a little better in the master mix, but part of me has to wonder whether or not they were created to clash and produce a bit of discord on the backend. Their chaotic warring lends The High Plains Drifters something to lean on other than their voice and the virtuosic lines they sew together as lyrics, and by allowing themselves to be more versatile in their communications than a lot of other pop outfits would in this scenario, they prove beyond a doubt that they are more of an alternative group than they are a band on a mission to score in the mainstream market. That might rub some critics the wrong way, but from where I sit it makes this act more compelling and worthy of every audience’s time.
A terrific mixture of pop cosmetics and vocal-powered rock’s foundational elements, “He Reminds Me of You” is content born of experimentation, and hopefully not the last of its kind we’re going to be hearing from The High Plains Drifters. They’re running into a lot of competition as the year continues, but because of the way this single is wired, I think they’re going to have the chance to expand upon the concepts they’re introduced in this release a lot sooner than later. You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot in this game, and The High Plains Drifters have talent ready to catch fire at any moment.