Sick – [James Ivy]

As this modern music landscape becomes even more saturated with artists who carry with them a limitless artistic scope of influence day by day, new sounds and styles are being introduced to the fray in such a rapid succession. But what many fail to fully realize is that adjacent to these nuanced facets coming to light are just as many acts who are bringing back sounds of yesterday in what can only be described as a familiar, yet just as emphatic manner.

James Ivy is among the most impressive acts who are doing just that, and it is safe to say that he is working in this light with a telling sense of comfort and ease in the process. Though he has brought plenty of nuance to the grander indie scene as it continues to rise, he is just as transfixed with the idea of embodying styles of old in this current-day landscape.

But even as comfortable as he is with that status and methodology, perhaps nothing has quite stood out in this exact manner as prominently as his newest offering “Sick” — a single that is nothing short of a tried and true garage rock ballad straight out of the early 2000s. 

From the production of the track alone all the way up to James’s exhilarating performance on the mic, this song is a complete and utter masterclass in all things indie rock within that given time period. James completely owns the song from start to finish with his incredibly delivered vocals — practically solidifying his place as an in-demand frontman in the process. No matter how understated or emphatically sung they are within the different passages on this track, he absolutely embodies that signature garage-tone that is anything but the norm now, but certainly the opposite some decades-plus ago.

The instrumental facets here also do everything in their power to encapsulate this given era, what with the striking and nasally-toned lead guitar riffs and the raucous percussion making themselves present and known in the mix. Everything comes together in an all-too-ideal way to effectively serve as the perfect backing for James himself to embellish on. 

Again, it must be stated that James is an act who has made a living off of bringing plenty of new and forward-thinking styles to the table, but it adds so much to his overall artistry when a song like this can be executed in as an appealing of a manner as it was; it speaks to how in-tuned with his influences that he is, while also enhancing his creative status in the process.