On first listen, Luke Top’s most resounding feature is the delicate balance he strikes with what’s arguably the hardest instrument to master: his voice.
Bordering on Leonard Cohen baritone in the verses, Luke Top is able to stretch his vocal cords to higher registers, drawing on the kind of surf-rock inspired melodies that So Cal is famous for. The song as a whole is a study in contrast, from the double time rhythmic changes to the emotional nuance marked by a heartfelt duality. Both light and somewhat forlorn, Luke Top has created a dreamy and reflective atmosphere on “I May Never Leave” that hovers somewhere in between nostalgia and hope — synthesized in the act of looking back while moving forward. He says,
“I’d been thinking a lot about boundaries when writing this song — physical, emotional, societal, etc. This tune is sung from the perspective of someone who feels boxed in but is on the verge of liberation. It’s both sunny and melancholy; an intersection I’m often drawn to, aesthetically speaking. In some ways creating this song was a cathartic exercise. It was all done rather quickly with urgency and intentional looseness.”
Listen to “I May Never Leave” below and be on the lookout for Luke Top’s upcoming EP, The Dumb-Show, out October 19.