There are times in which the music video for Denise Marsa’s new single “FLOAT (The Cowgirl & The Alien)” feels like an animated art film that isn’t meant to be taken at face value, but given the poetic ground this singer/songwriter is looking to cover in this track, I suppose the ambitiousness of the stylization makes a lot of sense. There’s a playfulness to the imagery that makes it endearing and accessible, but the bones of this video are built off of a serious ear for folk, country, rock, and R&B fused into a singular model for which this generation is bound to benefit.
The insurgency of the rhythm here is something that swept me away with Marsa’s verses right from the jump, but it doesn’t come from a pushy drum element that’s demanding more of our attention than the melodic instrumentation can compensate for. This is surprisingly one of the more evenhanded works I’ve had the chance to review in the past few months despite its being a hybrid of multiple influences and clearly something situated in the alternative pop/rock genre more than it is anywhere else on the mainstream side of new music.
I will say that I feel like “FLOAT” would sound quite different live, mostly because this arrangement is just begging to be taken apart and rearranged in the right setting. Marsa has developed such a flexible harmony in this piece that there are a number of ways she could perform the song without it losing any of the trademark swing it’s boasting in this studio version, which has not been true of the many tracks in this genre that I’ve sat down with in 2022. This asks for us to imagine what it could be in other scenarios, which is exciting all on its own.
There’s a lot of buzz around Denise Marsa right now, and rightly so, but I think it’s just a sneak preview of what her career is going to look like so long as she keeps producing content on par with what we’re getting out of “FLOAT (The Cowgirl & The Alien)” right now.
There’s nothing typical about what this track or its strangely warm music video are presenting to audiences, but from what I can tell about both releases, this is probably a foundation for what we’re going to hear from Marsa’s camp once more a lot sooner than later.