In the tradition of self-aware songwriting as pioneered by the likes of Bob and Woody, sans the acoustic guitars in this instance, a new generation of poetic aesthetics has penetrated the pop sphere like nothing else has in 2023, and it doesn’t take much more than a single sit down with a spoken word piece like Ron Brunk’s “Now Repeating” to appreciate what I’m talking about.
The vibe in “Now Repeating” is nocturnal and grimacing, but our lyrical protagonist is brooding and only able to connect with the most belligerent angles of the lyrics accompanying him in the track. There’s nothing ornate about the setting, but escaping the funeral-like thrust of the tempo is next to impossible – especially when Brunk stands out of the way just to facilitate one crushing poetic blow after another. His heart is beating through the speakers, and his emotions are represented in every element of the song, which at times is more of a social dialogue than anything else.
Sentimentality is laced into the tonal approach Brunk utilizes behind the mic, but he’s not being particularly saccharine in any of his verses. On the contrary, the feverishness with which he chases the narrative in this single is enough to eliminate any notion of sugary poetic predictability entering the big picture in this track. His voice doesn’t have to be specifically extroverted to have a sensational influence over how we interpret the story behind “Now Repeating,” and one could even make the argument that the insularities it supports make this artist sound even more manic and relatable than he already would have. It’s beyond endearing; truth be told, it feels like an honest reflection of what introspective songwriting can accomplish in the right circumstances.