Thursday, February 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Switch - I Still Love You (feat. Andrea Martin)

For this week's installment of my Throwback Thursday series, it gives me great pleasure to reintroduce the world to the raw, breathtaking beauty of one of the most organic, soulful, heartfelt and unforgettable vocal performances ever, courtesy Andrea Martin. Its allure is only amplified by Switch's smooth and stunningly beautiful production. The 2011 Dubsided release, "I Still Love You," (which of course is still the way I feel about this decidedly distinguished track) shouldn't remain dormant much longer.
I can still remember hearing this for the first time on Annie Mac's official start to the weekend on BBC Radio One. However I can't decide what captured my attention more, Andrea Martin's unfathomably awesome voice or the rumour that Annie floated out there, saying that Martin had recorded the main vocal in one take, in Switch's kitchen nonetheless. While that rumour obviously magnifies Martin's earth-shattering performance, it remains incomprehensibly and overwhelmingly angelic, regardless of the rumour's validity. Martin's voice bares all of the raw imperfections that accompany heartbreak, and the glaring incompleteness of a spurned lover. It is that combination of the clearly organic, heartfelt flowing of her voice with the harrowing lyrical content, that make the track so formidable and utterly timeless.

Obviously, Martin carries the track with her unforgettable performance, but it is my assertion that Switch's supportive production is the key to this perfect composition. I'm not sure whether it's the subject matter, or the music, but I'm always reminded of Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover." Playing the two back to back, the similarities in musical tone and percussive elements are unmistakable. Both are refined and understated, allowing us to become cocooned by the tremendous lyrical webs they spin. Of the dozens of remixes Martin's performance spurred, I can't say any come close to the original, as they inevitably end up fighting the vocals or simply crumbling under their incredible weight. Only Switch's well thought out and carefully crafted production truly allows Martin to shine. Furthermore, Switch, and his original production, add incredible depth with the supportive vocals samples, ooh-ing and ahh-ing, embodying the lost partner. Mirroring the lyric "I need you to succeed," it truly is the supporting vocals that "make [her] life complete."