Track Review: Thurlby & Maletka: Superman

‘With gradually evolving grooves and metaphorical lyrics, it influences you long after listening.’

Intro to Thurlby & Maletka
Following nearly a whole year of misery and isolation, it appears things are finally starting to look up around the world. But unfortunately, there is one thing that will prevail long after Covid-19 has gone: mental health issues. After 12 long months of loneliness, fear, and suffering, what we all need is for someone to tell us things will be okay, and a reminder that our support networks still exist, even if we can’t be part of them physically. And this is what lies at the heart of Thurlby & Maletka’s latest track Superman. Out today, this new release from the duo contains a wealth of meaningful messages, provides constant connection, and encourages us to help those who may be in need. However, in case this wasn’t enough, the single is also being utilised to raise money for and awareness of
mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Read more at Behind the Music: Interview with Thurlby & Maletka.

Track Review
Built around an inspirational motif, what better way could there be for the track to take flight than with poised, mollifying vocals. Fashioned upon a vivacious atmosphere, Thurlby delivers each word with confidence, carrying a tone that – although is there to provide vitality – soothes you at the same time. Not only does his croon provide comfort and bolster, but you also gain a friend. A friend who is there to help and direct. A friend, who although you can’t see, you can definitely hear.

Making your way through the track, the initially sparse texture provided by Maletka begins to evolve. Accompanying such vocal talent that Thurlby has, the unfurling of brawny percussive rhythms, coupled with analogue sounding textures, sees the track adopt the purest form of dance melody grooves. Firing a controlled juggernaut of electro-beats, there is a directiveness of sound that emulates and encourages us to have a direct approach to checking in on others.

Pushing on a tempo that only seems to grow, ‘Superman’ is dressed in consummate flourishes, with synth-drenched keys increasingly becoming part of the sound. Blended all together with deep, punching drums, your heart unconsciously joins in with the rhythm. Pounding at each thud and racing with each sweeping soundscape, you ask yourself: is there anything this song doesn’t have to offer? Well, with the lyricism being so sublimely crafted it would appear the answer is no.

Seamlessly touring through your ears, you can’t help but notice the metaphorical work of mastery that secretes its way beneath, above and within the rhythmical elements. Acting as symbolism for the real-life heroes in the world who are actually there to help, references to ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Superman’, weave their way through the vocals with ease. Developing this further, where other characters such as ‘Harley Quinn’ and ‘The Joker’ make an appearance, their inclusion feels like part of the storyline, rather than there for the sake of it. It’s actually all pretty clever.

Ever-seeking to normalize a feeling which many of us struggle to accept, and many of us try to hide, the duo have managed to take a complex topic, set it incredibly stylishly, and keep the meaning behind what we hear. It pulls back the reins of defeat and denial, and as a result, carries a power that’s much greater than you first realise. Equally, in combining the musical instincts these artists bring with them, Thurlby & Maletka have created a prodigious, earnest anthem, that influences you long after listening.

Superman, by Thurlby & Maletka is out now, and you can donate towards raising money for CALM by visiting the Go Fund Me page here.

You can find out more about CALM, as well as get support and advice on issues mentioned here.

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