In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Nokia Flip” — Matt Cleare
How We Found It
Admittedly, our SubmitHub inbox isn’t where you’d expect to find a Nokia flip. You’d be better off sifting through the drawers of your parents’ desk, or maybe scouring the boxes of odds and ends you’ve got lying about. It’s not the kind of thing most people keep on hand, but Matt Cleare isn’t most people, and “Nokia Flip” – a choice cut from his recent release, Stuntman Diaries Reloaded! – isn’t as old-school as you might think.
Why We Like It
A novel take is only as good as its execution, and Matt Cleare has managed to land both a clarity of vision and a smooth, well-layered proof of concept with “Nokia Flip.” It’s as clean as it is brisk, the production lulling you into a soft-spoken groove, one that propels you throughout the impassioned vocals. There are shades of Drake in some of these bars – “like the sweetest joint I ever rolled, I can’t let you go” hits with a familiar cadence – but Cleare’s personality shines through in the adept fusion of hip-hop and R&B.
Fundamentally, it comes down to the writing, as dynamic as the production that facilitates it. You’re never far from some intriguing embellishment or strange segue, ones that take the track to new places, toying with refrains and structures to keep things fresh. There really wasn’t any need for the track to be so dense – at two minutes, a handful of ideas might’ve played – but “Nokia Flip” plays out with a twenty-second fade-in intro, a verse, a pre-chorus, a chorus, a bridge and that distinctive Nokia ringtone. It’s almost like a sleight of hand: a vivid story, complete with a welcoming open and a narrative close, in just two minutes. If two-minute noodles were this substantial and filling, all other foods would be rendered obsolete.
What’s more, it’s as enjoyable as it is impressive – a fact that’s impressive in and of itself. “Nokia Flip” is well, well worth checking out.
From Matt Cleare
These songs are mad old, I started most of these songs back in 2016 or 2017, so idk if dropping this project or moving past my perfectionism has evolved my sound per se. Evolution of the sound is a process more so dictated by time and experimentation. A lotta that happens on its own with new inspirations and new discoveries and experiences. Putting these songs out was something I felt I had to do because my sound has already evolved and I put it out so I can continue evolving as both an individual and an artist.” – Matt Cleare for CentralSauce (2020)
More From Matt Cleare
“Nokia Flip” arrives alongside Cleare’s Stuntman Diaries Reloaded!, a ten-track, twenty-nine minute LP released to streaming services in February. This joint might be the breakout single of the project – not hard to see why – but “Ride,” a tinkering, sexually-charged track, has also been doing numbers.
More to Discover
Subscribe to the CentralSauce mailing list so you never miss out on the freshest sauce. Check out this continuously updated playlist of songs Conor has added to our Discovery section! Each track or artist has been featured in our “Why We Like It” section, so be sure to check out the page here on the site.