Brooklyn (US) artist, Nadia Kazmi, has just released her latest single, Manufactured Dream; the second single and title track from her forthcoming album slated for release in 2023. We’ve been taking several thoroughly enjoyable listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Manufactured Dream paints a picture of a woman and man in our modern era. It speaks of a world of vanity, narcissism, social media and a love for material things at the cost of morality and depth. It is a statement about the false reality that people portray on social media.
The song starts with a synth slowing rising in pitch and then straight into a full band sound. We were instantly reminded of Duran Duran at this point. With the bass guitar taking the lead with notes being played high up the neck, this feels authentically like a mid 80s track.
When Nadia’s vocals come in, there’s touches of Kim Wilde and other spots where we caught a hint of Madonna. Her vocals are clear and present in the mix and are very characterful, passionate and enjoyable to listen to.
We love the half time, dreamy, feel to the choruses that makes you want to melt away the cares of modern life. The layered vocals thicken the sound out nicely here.
We were also very impressed by the separation of sections in this track. There’s lots happening at any given moment, but there’s also plenty of indication where you are in the track. This really captivated us as listeners and made us hit “replay” immediately the track ended.
The break down at around 2 minutes in is a great touch too. With layered vocals, bass and tambourine with just a hint of synths, this section builds nicely to the end. There were places in this track where the dynamics felt as if it would be a song that Andrew Lloyd Webber would be impressed with – we were reminded in particular of Phantom Of The Opera.
We just love the ending of this track. The entire track just seems to collapse, with the vocals and synth bending and feeling like perhaps, this fake Manufactured Dream is crumbling all around us.
From a production perspective, we felt that a boost around 60Hz would bring the thump of the kick drum in a bit and a boost around 125Hz would help bring the lower parts of the bass line up a little. To our ears, the 80s feel to the song lends itself to a very bright sound and therefore a high shelf boost from around 8kHz would really help add some extra ‘zing’ the the track. We also felt that the track could use an overall volume boost so a light compressor / limiter and around 3dB of make up gain would be an idea.
Manufactured Dream is a stunningly well observed social commentary. A well arranged and well performed track with an infectious groove that you can totally lose yourself in. Great stuff!