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“Cold Sets In” – World’s First Cinema | Review

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Many revere Nietzsche for his sentiment on the art of sound. His famous words are consistently echoed by an audience that believes strongly in its unifying and transcendental qualities. It’s a rather overt statement backed up by much more sagacity when it's unpacked—much like his famous aphorism, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” The sentence may have become a cliché, but its meaning carries a lot of weight—especially now. In their latest single, Indie-pop duo World’s First Cinema explore this idea and how it applies to our connections with the ones we love. They express—both lyrically and sonically—how pain can strengthen our bonds and bring us closer together.

“Cold Sets In” is defined by its haunting piano, tenacious strings, and a mesmerizing vocal performance—the latter element sounding as though it’s coming from a powerful singer with serious pop appeal, like a Ryan Tedder or Dan Reynolds. The piece itself is clear and tactile. It’s very cinematic—making the group truly worthy of their epic band name. The track’s structure and arrangement reveal two artists with a strong grasp on songwriting and musicianship.

Beyond the writing and performance is the music itself. WFC are deliberate with their sonic choices. A vi-IV-I-V progression serves as a solid, supportive backdrop under a stirring, soulful melody. The notes push and pull as the song moves—like an interpretive dance between congruity and dissonance. Notice the accented major seventh over the V chord in the first verse or the way the melody rolls over peaks and valleys in the chorus. It’s these little decisions that color their track with both tension and resolve.

World’s First Cinema is Saint Claire (who you might know as the vocalist from the finale of Macklemore’s Gemini and a headliner at the Unheard Gems Live show in 2019) and Fil Thorpe (formerly of pop-punk powerhouse Neck Deep). Forming in Los Angeles back in 2019 and intent on crafting something daring and adventurous, the duo worked through 2020—emerging during the darkest days of the pandemic with a glimpse at their vision. “Cold Sets In” will be a piece of their debut EP which is set to release sometime this year. Their previous two singles, “Can’t Feel Anything” and “Red Run Cold,” have garnered more than a million streams—cementing them as a promising band on the rise.

The latest offering from WFC forecasts great things to come in 2021. This song does more than show off their writing and performing talents; it showcases their producing abilities—a skill that will help them more accurately express what they want to say with this project. “Cold Sets In” has a sharp hook and a reflective message—two ingredients to an imperishable pop hit.

Written by Matt Kalicky

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