It’s generally thought that soft pop is better off on the simpler side than it ever is an elaborate sonic construct, but Bryn Ryan VanDyke is an artist who seems to want to challenge this narrative with every verse she sings. Her new single, “Go Long,” neither tethers itself to the aesthetical foundations of melodic pop nor shamelessly steals cues from the old school in adult contemporary music; it’s a delicate, harmony-focused showcase of rhythm and balance. While its singer makes quite a fine contribution to the narrative with her vocals, this is undeniably a vehicle to spotlight the best compositional virtues VanDyke has as a songwriter.
The voice at the helm of the lyrics adds a lot of luster to the melodic value of this song just with its presence, and I don’t think the track would have the same emotional feel it does here with a different songstress leading the way in the mix.
Coming in too strong or too soft the same would have been ultra-easy for a player with lesser skills, but with the mature approach this singer has, there’s never a moment in which we feel like we’re listening to something that isn’t wholly provocative and special. VanDyke picked a good piece to break through on a bigger level, and this demonstrates how terrific a musical chemist she can be no matter what kind of concept she enters the studio with.
“Go Long” reps a surprisingly bold sound from a flourishing underground this autumn, and combined with the other material I’ve heard from this player’s self-titled EP, I think it’s rather impossible to question her ability as a solo artist, producer, and rising hit-maker on the come-up right now. The American underground is a bit more cutthroat than the scenes it’s been made to contend with, but if this is an adequate sample of what one of its more intriguing young voices is going to be ushering out in the future, 2023 could be the year Bryn Ryan VanDyke takes over the soft pop circuit.