I made the hard decision to leave The Pine Tree State for Austin, Texas in search of greater opportunity. Four years later, I’ve found that simply living in Maine was the greatest opportunity I’d had. One of my most shocking discoveries upon settling into the Live Music Capital of the World was that Portland actually had a superior music scene. Sure, Austin hosts big festivals and welcomes huge stars to their myriad of venues, but it lacks a certain authenticity I’ve only ever seen in Southern Maine. Northeastern musicians are often underrated, but they come from a rigidly tight-knit and supportive community.
One of these promising songwriters is Kidhimself. He’s an ambitious artist releasing one catchy single after another. His latest is “Typical,” and it’s anything but. He has once again joined forces with Italian producer Michele Canova Iorfida—their single “Freaks” debuted back in the spring. This time, they’ve crafted a timely tune from their own studios at opposite ends of the country. Their song is about having your heart torn out and clutching onto vices to combat the depression. Its chill tempo puts the listener in the shoes of the narrator. Audiences can empathize with feeling washed up and smoked out.
Lots of delay, reverb, and cricket hi-hats give “Typical” a cool, ambient, trap vibe. Kidhimself’s voice has a thick timbre, and the vocal performance on this track suits its style. It’s delightfully drowsy and deep—like something you’d hear from Tyler Joseph or fellow Mainer Andrew Taggart.
The two contributors have been considerate of contemporary pop-music trends with their arrangement. They’ve decorated their IV vi V progression with a full-bodied guitar riff. The consonant thirds are showcased by the 10th-above-the-root dyads. This pleasantness is balanced by the tension of the chord progression. It never resolves to the tonic—perfectly illustrating the internal struggles the lyrics describe.
What better time for a cross-country collaboration than now? Music from New England has an uncharted quality, while L.A. boasts a chic and stylish feel. This combination of cultures has resulted in something really cool. When it comes to music, Kidhimself and Canova are putting Maine on the map.
Written by Matt Kalicky