Local hip-hop trio Thundamentals are celebrating a decade together, and with their upcoming album being titled ‘Decade of the Thundakat’, nostalgia has become a prevalent theme for the group. In many ways, their latest single ‘I Miss You’ is the same: from the ‘90s-inspired guitar and piano loops, to the single artwork shot on Polaroid, to… well, pretty much everything about the song’s video.
Look behind this, though, and you’ll find a bittersweet reflection on a uniquely modern problem. The lyrics describe an experience we can all relate to, where our relationships are reduced to just seeing what others post online. It’s a call to reconnect with all the people we say we’re still in touch with but haven’t spoken to in years. So in a sense, the lyrics connect back to the nostalgic image the song’s catchy instrumentation builds.
As well as looking back to the relationships of the past, the song draws from the group’s previous work, demonstrating the sum of ten years’ work. It features a minimal arrangement, with piano and guitar loops flourishing over the typical drum machine that has become the hallmark of the genre. It’s a further example of the group’s ability to craft catchy tunes that both define and divert from current pop music.
In the face of this, though, is the song’s bridge. It doubles down on hip-hop tropes - it feels like it’s there because it has to be - and undermines the lyrical poignance that made the song what it was. Instead of a relatable reflection on the ways technology has changed our lives, Thundamentals’ Jeswon resorts to listing social media buzzwords. It stops feeling like a thoughtfully crafted emotional statement, and more like when your grandmother complains about “kids these days and their smart phones”.
All up, ‘I Miss You’ is bound to strike a chord with Thundamentals’ ever-growing audience. It’s a familiar yet refreshing sound that caters to our nostalgic sentiments. If nothing else, it’s a reminder to reach out to that person you haven’t seen for ages, and bringing people together like that is exactly what music should be about.