MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Janos' 'Sicky/Sticky' is a funk dream that tackles substance abuse and holds onto hope
The Swedish singer effortlessly blends a variety of musical influences, including indie-pop and rock with jazz, funk and blues to create an extremely relatable song
Swedish singer Janos returns with a groovy new single titled 'Sicky/Sticky'.
The London-based artist's latest song is extremely catchy, and you are definitely going to find yourself humming it throughout the day after you have heard it. Janos delivers a track that encompasses his new-found love for jazz and soul, but it's more than just an ode to genres he enjoys. It's a real testament to the singer's ability to blend in musical influences from a wide variety of styles to create something that is uniquely his own.
Janos' earlier work had a far more folk-pop sound. 'Jump The Line' and 'The Beat Drops', for instance, are alternative and indie and quite reminiscent of mid-2000s pop and punk rock. His later work such as 'In The Winter' brings in a little more folk into the mix, while 'Leave This Town' introduces more blues-rock into his repertoire.
It's with 'Off License and Chill' that things get a bit interesting. Here is where you begin to hear a unique sound emerge from Janos. Vocally, his growth is very apparent on this track, and musically you can hear all the various influences that shape Janos' sound, woven through the song to create something that is uniquely his own. The next two releases that followed, 'Nonstop' and 'Illusions', continued in this vein. More recent releases from last year such as 'Zero' and 'Home' introduced some more pop into the mix.
With each new song, Janos has continued to grow as an artist. His body of work features an increasingly refined sound, one that leads all the way up to the latest single, 'Sicky/Sticky'.
If the last few releases from Janos were a testament to his vocal and musical growth, 'Sicky/Sticky' is where the singer shows us how much he has grown as a lyricist and storyteller. The track is a funk dream, featuring some stunningly soulful singing from Janos over a bold brass sound and funky guitars. It's an amalgamation of all the genres the singer has played around with his work including pop, rock, blues, jazz, funk and soul. It is really the perfect representation of his journey as an artist.
But it's the lyrics that really shine through on this song. "Sicker than a heartache / A million ways to make me feel, only one of them is real / And all the rest of them I steal," Janos sings on a track that speaks about that pesky habit we tend to have of running away from our problems by escaping into the high from drugs and alcohol. All the while, still trying to hold on to hope that it isn't too late to chase your dreams.
It's a tale as old as time — the need to run away from the lows while we chase the highs. And while it's a surprisingly dark train of thought for such a groovy tune somehow, Janos makes it work.
Amidst the darker message of the song, Janos works in the idea of strength, healing and self-empowerment. At the core of it all, even as he pens lyrics that are highly relatable and speak to the struggles many of us face, Janos has always infused good vibes into his music that makes his songs feel like a release from the daily ups and downs. It's a space you can always visit for a moment to relax and rejuvenate.
MEAWW's Basement Tapes is a weekly column that shines a spotlight on undiscovered/underrated musical gems.