Her best yet? She says so and we're inclined to agree
Track: B Without U
Band: Check Please!
Released: February 18 2022
Check Please! is the project of Marissa Dai from Houston, Texas. As she revealed in an interview with The Sounds Won't Stop blog after her previous release Dream Come True, "my ultimate goal in life is to be a working screenwriter. Music is what people are mostly seeing from me right now because it's more accessible." If she can write music this good when it's not even her main outlet then watch out Hollywood.
B Without U opens with a synth line and motorik drum machine which could be straight out of the Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark or Flock Of Seagulls songbook. It's simple but super effective and couldn't be more eighties referencing if it permed its hair, popped in some shoulder pads and watched Dynasty.
The verse motors along with that insistent ear worm synth line before the drums cleverly change in the pre chorus as if the song has slowed to half time. This creates interest and tension - you know the chorus is coming but you've to wait for it. And when it comes neither its rhythmic return or gorgeous melody disappoint.
Of the finished track Marissa relates "It’s probably my favourite song I’ve ever made. I’ve never made anything quite like it and it motivated me to get better at mixing my songs. Usually when I make songs they don’t sound exactly what I imagined; just close enough to what was in my head, but with this song it turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Once it started taking shape it just made me so excited to make more stuff."
Of course we can never be party to what is in a songwriter's head however the songwriting progression which Marissa has followed is clear. Since changing her moniker from Catsica to Check Please!, she has released Homewrecker, I Want You To Be Happy, Dream Come True and the current single. In each of the first three there are elements (melody, hooks, dreamy vocals) which all combine in B Without U demonstrating perfectly the German notion of Gestalt. A combination which is greater than the sum of its parts.
With an album to come later this year, this alternative pop talent is writing her own dream script for her atmospheric, cinematic universe.
You can find Marissa and Check Please! on this vinyl compilation available in our shop
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