Vague strands of a synthesized melody are waiting to greet us at the start of Gino McKoy’s “Sensy Girl,” but they won’t stay subtle in this song for very long. Suddenly, a churning vortex of rhythm opens up at the center of the track and pulls everything within its reach asunder. An enormous bassline thrashes us from the left while the explosive synths form a wall of harmonies on the right. We’re in the eye of the storm, listening as this monolithic composition takes shape before our very ears, and though it has been a big year for minimalism in almost every corner of the pop music world, Gino McKoy embraces excess in this brand new bolt of lyrical lightning, and comes up with what might be the preeminent indie R&B dance track of the summer. He’s joined by rapper Diamond in one of the song’s more memorable refrains, and while I wasn’t familiar with either of these artists prior to seeing the boldly stimulating video for “Sensy Girl” just this past week, to say that I’ve become a fan would be an understatement of epic proportions.
WATCH THE VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehCizaLywlg
The video’s images are steeped in an almost noir-like darkness that alludes to the menacing nature of the track’s bassline, which is ironically one of its most sterling attributes. There’s a lot of implied danger in its swaggering strut, not to mention a constant sense of urgency; we get the feeling that time is of the essence in the conflicted grind of “Sensy Girl,” and yet the verses – Diamond’s included – are distributed with total patience. This single, and especially the music video, don’t look or sound like the work of amateurs nor rookie recording artists trying to make a name for themselves in a cutthroat industry; if anything, they appear to be the product of disciplined songcraft, and moreover, artistic originality that has been cultivated over decades rather than months. It’s an impressive early outing for Gino McKoy, and based on the strength of the songs that “Sensy Girl” sits beside in the tracklist of his EP Lumina, soundtrack to the film of the same name, my gut tells me that this is going to be but the first of many acclaimed independent hits in his career.
I can’t wait to hear more from this artist as he develops his sound a little more. This track leaves behind a haunting vocal harmony that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since my initial listening session, but even with that being the case, I’m not convinced that McKoy is giving us everything he’s got here. There’s still a lot of untapped potential in this young star, and if “Sensy Girl” is in fact only a limited sampling of what he could do in the right kind of studio setting, then the sky is the limit in regards to what he could do next. I see a full-length album coming from this man by 2020, but even if it takes him a little longer than most to put together a complete LP, I’ll be awaiting its arrival in record stores just the same.