Slowly emerging from the shadows on the back of a colorful synth melody, we find the first few strands of Melissa B.’s “Found” in what will be their most exposed form through the entire track. Even in these opening bars, there’s a sense of emotionality in the lingering fog of instrumentation that glosses over Melissa B.’s verses and stays with us throughout the song. In “Found,” this up and coming pop singer and songwriter demonstrates a keen ability to break down the typical barriers that would come between an artist and her audience whilst retaining the mystique that initially launched her into the American indie lexicon just a few short years ago. She isn’t holding anything back from us in this single, and while I’ve come to expect as much out of her work, this certainly seems special among all of the material that she’s released so far. Rooted in club grooves and unrelenting rhythms associated more with contemporary R&B than they are straight up urban pop, this is a track that was designed to please the masses without pandering to commercial radio standards.
In terms of grandiosity, “Found” is one of the more sparkling tracks that Melissa B. has attached her moniker to, but that’s not what makes this single such a sexy tune. The bones of the song – which are comprised mainly of a churning groove and a lot of layered melodies centering almost exclusively on the bittersweet serenade in the middle of the mix – are especially intriguing, as they combine elements of multiple genres while still utilizing a pretty cut and dry pop blueprint. Melissa B. straddles the rhythm of the drums as if to lead the beat with her own voice, relying on none of the instrumental faceting in her quest to captivate us with the larger than life poetry she’s dispensing into the microphone.
She’s wearing her heart on her sleeve in the chorus, but making sure to avoid the oversentimentality that would have made the song unacceptably more saccharine in tone. It would greatly surprise me if this track took more than a couple of takes to record and master, because from the style of the performance here, the chemistry between the different components couldn’t sound much more organic and unforced.
Big beats and a boisterous lead vocal from the one and only Melissa B. make “Found” a must-listen this season, and if you haven’t already taken the time to do so, it’s a great way of getting into the larger catalogue of music that she’s already recorded in the last five years. Melissa B. brings a firestorm of melodic intensity into this latest track, and though she faces a lot of stiff competition both at home and abroad heading into 2020, she’s exhibiting the kind of creative ambition in this single that it will take for her to come out on top of the pop hierarchy in the next decade. I’ll be following her story, and after hearing “Found” for yourself, I think you will be inclined to do the same.