London based songwriter and producer Neon Radiation (aka Gary Blake) relentlessly continues his musical expansion and evolution as he continues to release fresh material showcasing his collaboration with leading vocalists and award winning remixers/producers. Essentially a Pop music maker, from time to time Neon Radiation infuses his tracks with flavors from other genres. Case in point, the single “Shadows” which features pop vocals, rap verses and a synthwave soundscape, for the ultimate synth-pop-hop song. In an industry made up of a lot of smoke that never gets to be fire, Neon Radiation knows how to ignite a flame. The song exemplifies Blake’s abilities to produce three minute plus musical masterpieces.
The opening rap verse, quickly lays down the theme of the song: “Enjoy times while they’re good. Cars champagne upper echelon neighborhoods. Robbin’ from the rich never give to the poor. A habit that I feed and I always need more.” It’s all about living the nightlife and slinking through the shadows and the underworld, to achieve your goals.
Which is confirmed by 8 bars of the final verse: “A regular job, I’ve never had one. Waking up dead by thirty-one. Young as I am, my race is run. God only knows I really am done. You’re overworked, you’re underpaid. Never a need to be afraid. Follow my shadow, into the night. Outta the reach of searching lights.”
“Shadows” can be commended for its unique musical composition, catchy melody, and rap flow, as well as, two singers and a rapper. But Neon Radiation’s passion to compose is apparent on the track. His integrity and sense of devotion come through from start to finish. Despite its gritty dark synth trappings, this track is buoyed by Blake’s surefire pop instincts.
Moreover, Neon Radiation has also deepened his gift for conjuring emotional reality, his words about late-night hedonistic ruminations and existential tensions resonating in a way that feels both familiar and alien, like recognizing yourself in someone else’s diary entry.
This is the age of genre-blending. Many artists won’t even label themselves anymore. The emphasis is now on the song, more than on the genre. Most experts are now saying that if you sit down and try to figure out the genre of a song, you’re missing the point of it being a great song.
The bottom line is, if you like the song, play it. If you don’t, then don’t. Neon Radiation’s “Shadows” is coming from that direction, as it blurs the lines between genres. Blake knows that if you defy the boundaries of genre boxes, the sky is the limit.
There are countless of aspiring musicians producing, remixing and releasing songs, but Neon Radiation’s disregard for conventions in music is exactly what will eventually capture the attention of open-minded listeners. There is plenty of sonic spectacle to his craft, but it’s tempered by his well thought-out lyrics and the use of intimate vocals.
Neon Radiation comes across as an honest manifestation of the candid creativity of a nostalgically-inclined artist in 2019, not afraid to look back at his influences for inspiration. Gary Blake is a far cry from the modern-day artists and b(r)ands created by a marketing team.
“Shadows” releases officially on the 5th of July.