Equal parts alternative hip-hop, subtle trip-hop, suggestive synthpop, and indie rock at its moodiest, “July 10th” unfolds like a layered cocktail of melodicism and poetic creativity, revealing to us 10-19 & The Number Men and the sound they call their own. Theirs is a rebellious take on rhythm and harmony, but in comparison to what a lot of their contemporaries would just as soon create an entire album around, it could be the fiercest aesthetical firebomb I’ve had the chance to take a closer look at this year. “July 10th” is an exodus away from mainstream mundanity, which in itself makes 10-19 & The Number Men worth considering this spring.
This track doesn’t center its lyricism on the vocal exclusively, but rather the relationship this voice builds with the swaggering percussion and faint melodic undertow in the background. The emotion here isn’t being drawn from what the verses are telling us on their own, but the collective force of the material instead. That puts “July 10th” as far away from the aesthetical average in modern pop as one can travel without tripping off the edge of the spectrum into left-field territory, and yet I don’t find anything about the detail in this song even slightly inaccessible to the casual listener.
Watch the video for “July 10th”
The melodies behind the words feel so distant at times, presenting a sense of yearning as the linchpin holding everything together in “July 10th.” This is another fine example of the multidimensionality 10-19 & The Number Men are cultivating as songwriters, and it’s also suggestive of what they could potentially do with a proper LP’s tracklist if allowed to play with progressive concepts. No idea should be off the table for this group, as they’re working with the sort of versatility that would be criminal of any artist to underutilize.
There’s no question that “July 10th” is the most exciting new single and music video I’ve come across from an underground act in the month of May, and if it’s a sneak preview of what’s to come from 10-19 & The Number Men, I don’t want them to alter their current formula at all. This is a sound that they need to push to the limit as frequently as they can afford, and if they can extend much of the dreaminess found in this initial offering to a full-length album, I’m confident their profile will quickly rise through the ranks of a hungry international scene.