In this generation of deficit attention, an artist may only have 30 seconds to make an impression. If you can’t hook a listener in this small timeframe, you’ve lost them. It’s a good thing Kenneth Cash only needs 15 on his most recent single, Patience.
Before we dive into the beautiful lead and backing vocals, let’s break down this beat. It’s my humble opinion one of the coolest things a producer can do is use a melodic instrument as a percussive tool. The concept of looking at a guitar and thinking “percussion” instead of “stringed instrument” is both dope and ingenious. I’m telling you, some poor acoustic guitar was probably bumped and thumped 300 times in a recording studio to get this sound.
Thank god guitars can't feel.
Rough fingers sliding against metal strings are also implemented as a backing effect, like a shaker or tambourine, instead of a prelude to chords. What’s next? An ambient ‘verbed out grand piano accompaniment to build suspense? Beautiful. Now let that bass slip its way into the track as the final piece of the puzzle. By the time the beat comes in we’re already soaring. Oh, did I fail to mention this man self-produced this track…? Good heavens.
The creativity and curiosity that birthed Patience only needed one more thing: vocals. From the start, the production is balanced out by ethereal backings. The lead vocals drive the song forward, enveloping listeners in the hardships of an on-and-off relationship that ended only a few months before the track was released. As we move through the song, Cash comes to the realization his patience is wearing thin. He gets the feeling their “season is done” and the pain is too much to bear. A tale as old as time. I practically felt like I was ending a relationship just by listening.
The prowess to produce a unique sound, one that hasn’t been heard before, is rare. The vulnerability to share your struggles with the world through your music is vital. The talent to deliver both at the same time is special. Kenneth Cash is special, and deserves all our attention. Pre-save the next track, follow the man’s socials, send him a thank you letter for blessing us with the tunes, and most importantly… keep him top of mind in 2022. I know I will.
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