Mella Dee & Infinite Coles – A Little Longer (Whistle Posse)

With a flash of recent brilliance, Mella Dee subverts the tried-and-true breaks formula to deliver an evocative, moody single complemented by the haunting vocals of Infinite Coles.

“A Little Longer” is, by all means, an unusual composition. Led by detuned blips, a scratchy, almost grating breaks sample, and a bassline as subtle as it is smooth, the track feels as though it’s on the cusp of being danceable, without any of the expected hallmarks of what one might come to expect from a modern dance track. The bass isn’t upfront, nor are the drums; rather, it is the vocals and the synth work that take precedent, with the drums scratching their way to the surface in the more stripped back sections of the mix.

The end result is a piece that should be jarring and at worst annoying, yet Mella Dee and Infinite Coles’ most recent contribution is anything but.

I’ve taken a few weeks to consider what it is that’s so special about the track and a couple of answers leap out ahead of others. Firstly, the atmosphere – the track is absolutely drenched in it. The aforementioned elements that I had characterized as potentially annoying: generously detuned leads, scratchy drum samples, and a bass that occupies a more subtle, background role all merge together to create something greater than the sum of their parts. What emerges is a nostalgic, heartfelt soundscape, something wonderfully elevated by Infinite Coles’ choice of tone, delivery, and lyrical content:

“Too rooted in this place I know/What are the odds I let it go?/How could a place I once called home/All of a sudden feel so cold?”

The lyrics and the accompanying instrumental enjoy a wonderful interplay, with the vocal melodies proving to be real earworms over the last few weeks.

Secondly, the subversion of expectations via the marrying of breaks with unconventional sonic choices and gloomy vocals have helped highlight the track over others. This sort of “post-breaks” well holds its water and could well be a springboard for further musical experiments.

At a time where western societies seem to be embracing a cautious optimism, “A Little Longer” seems more elegiac in nature, reflecting on the loss of identity, purpose, and comfort, representing many of the voices that have been lost to our insistence to move on. Captivating and melancholic, Mella Dee and Infinite Coles’ latest isn’t one to be missed.