Down In The Deep by OLLA is a seething reflection of the challenges of love. It uses the conventions of its genre to tell its story, utilising subtle vocal manipulation and layers of synths to build this complex, dirty sound that contrasts the vocals in a cathartic way that impresses through its narrative and sonic complexity.
The vocals are the first thing that jumps out when listening to Down In The Deep. They work as a guiding light throughout the composition, shaping the tonal landscape of every moment through their subtle yet powerful delivery of the lyrics. A great example of this is how every delivery of “you can leave me down in the deep” feels slightly different. The different vocal timbres and cadences match the needs of the track at that time. She leads the composition, aided by her dominant position in the mix. She also flows with the melody, building a cohesive sound and understanding the interplay between the melodic components. I also appreciate the pitch shifting used throughout the track. We more commonly see the pitch shifting to higher in these synth-pop tracks. I think the lower tone helps to support the perspective of the song. It helps add grit to the core of the song's narrative.
The exploration of love and attachment as not always being healthy is brilliant. The idea of being left by someone you love seems so alien and detached from a healthy relationship, but with the wrong person, it's easy to get taken for granted. I like the drug metaphors as well. The use of the phrase “I’m breathing you in, breathing you out” helps connect the idea of that relationship being something unhealthy for her but also addictive.
Down In The Deep surprised me with its thematic complexity while also blowing me away with OLLA’s vocal prowess and overall style.