American indie pop project Possible Impossible is back with a new single entitled “Subtle”! A couple of months, the artist talked to ai love music about his debut single “Oxygen” as well as his artistry. Now, ai love music had another chance to talk to Possible Impossible, about his newest single. Find out the musical direction Possible Impossible took when producing “Subtle”. It is very different than his debut single! Also, make sure to check out the music video and read why did the artist choose to feature a dance crew against a 90s sit-com aesthetic for the video.
Listen to Possible Impossible’s newest single down below and let me know what you think!
Hey! How are you? How has your summer been? Have you been able to play at lives?
I moved from Southern California to Richmond, Virginia, bought a house, and released two singles and music videos. This summer has been incredible, exhausting, and receiving support from folks like yourself makes all the investment worth it. Thank you for chatting with me!
I’m still working on what life will look like for Possible Impossible, so it’s likely mid-2022 before I’m ready to take the show on the road. Like anything with the band, our live set needs to be visually compelling along with the music, so building a catalog of music videos helps a ton towards this effort.
I have been meaning to ask you. Why did you choose dark pop as your main musical genre?
My first music love was grunge and punk rock. Dark pop resonates in the same way if you think of early dark pop acts like Poe, or sometimes an artist like Beck. It’s a pretty loose definition that lets me blend genres and experiment, while still being able to categorize what I do. It felt like the easiest way to describe the music I was making without boxing myself in too much. Modern artists like K Flay, Grandson, or Halsey can all fit in the Dark Pop genre and have unique sounds which touch on multiple genres.
Let’s talk about your newest single “Subtle”. What inspired you to write this tune?
I had a friend everyone seemed to love, but some of my interactions with them didn’t feel so great. It took me years to figure out why those interactions felt so terrible and realized there was meanness and insecurity couched in subtle toxic comments. They had thousands of highly engaged followers on social media, embodied the SoCal influencer’s instagrammable life, but hurt a lot of people in the wake of their meanness.
The song took form around the lyric “being mean is easier when it’s subtle”, and I decided to write it from the perspective of their fictional partner. It’s hypothetical, but I think it offers a unique perspective on the Internet, what drives discovery algorithms, and how it affects our own behavior and outward projections. The Internet has been great for my career, but we are still early in solving all the problems it has introduced, which are probably net negative to date.
What was the most important thing you wanted to highlight in the song?
I hope you hear an artist taking risks lyrically, pushing to develop musically, and defining a unique voice and perspective. It’s a balance between wanting to deliver something truly fresh and unique, and something familiar enough people will still listen to.
Thematically, it’s a reminder to seek validation and love from those closest to us, who have earned our trust through unconditional love…and certainly not from the Internet in general.
“Subtle” seems to have a different musical direction than your debut single. What did you want musically for your second single?
Over these first three singles, I’m pushing myself to explore as much as possible. It’s a freedom that disappears or becomes harder for Artists who achieve commercial success, once they find the sound their audience wants more of. I’m enjoying this stage of my music work where I can pull inspiration from lots of sources to move towards something unique and fresh. If you have the chance to create music, why walk the same path as everyone else?
For “Subtle”, I was able to bring onboard session musicians for bass and guitar, which lends the funky bass lines and Red Hot Chili Peppers style guitar performance. Funny, I think the guitar amp preset was called “Californication”. I really love the performances of the band on the track. The vocal chorus hook is definitely more subtle than “Oxygen”, in keeping with the thematic elements of the song, but no less hooky once you’ve listened a couple of times.
All the singles play with both light and dark themes co-existing next to each other, and could totally get you dancing. They all touch on relationship dynamics and mixed and mastered more like a Rich Costey Produced record (Muse, Of Monsters and Men, The Killers). Mixing and mastering pop records more like rock records with larger frequency ranges and dynamics has thrown some reviewers who expect pop tracks to be mixed and mastered with a lot more compression, and sit in a specific range of your AirPods.
With the increased accessibility of recording technology, one of my grievances is the general regression of great mixing and mastering. Rob Murray, who mixed and mastered these first three singles, did an incredible job and I’m grateful he was open to a less typical direction for pop music.
What was production for this song like?
I demo everything at my home studio. I rushed the two last demos to hit a self-imposed deadline before I engaged co-Producer and co-Writer Trent Park. This single was one of those two demos. Lyrically, the original version was pretty judgy of social media, but once I worked out some of my own bad ideas, Trent was able to help me get the song to a more positive place overall. We tracked bass and guitar at Perry Banc’s (guitar) home studio in Hollywood, and then vocals at a small studio in Hollywood as well.
The vocal session was 10 hours long, and I lost my voice the next two days. At the time, the song was at the higher end of my range, and I worked with my vocal coach for about four weeks to comfortably expand my range prior to recording. Necessity is a great motivator, right?
Let’s talk about the music video. It features you with a dance crew against a 90s sit-com aesthetic. What was the reasoning behind that?
Yeah…I think there is a lot of nostalgia about the 90s right now. Finneas even released a single “The 90s” the same week “Subtle” dropped. The music video for “Oxygen” was a brutal 2-day shoot with an incredible crew, but having just moved to Richmond, VA right before I had to come up with a video for “Subtle”, I needed a concept I could pull off with just three weeks of pre-production.
I knew I wanted to shoot it like a therapy session, wanted to highlight local Richmond, VA (RVA) talent, and it was my first time directing and producing a film project.
So…it was a combination of observing general cultural nostalgia about the 90s, budget and timing constraints, and keeping the scope manageable as I took on a new role for my music videos.
What would you want listeners to listen for in “Subtle”?
Turn it up so you can really feel the bass, the stacked vocals, and the RHCP’s inspired funk guitar. There is a lot happening in the track, best listened to with some volume. I invested in the HD versions for steaming services that support it, like Tidal.
On the vocals, I worked a ton of the delivery, emotion, and tone, to keep you interested and guessing throughout. I want to believe an emphasis on great engineering and production risk still matters.
What is next for Possible Impossible?
I have one more single coming this year, as part of a 4-song EP I’ll drop right before Thanksgiving. My new home in Richmond, VA has a new studio build-out, and I’m starting the writing process for next year. I’m hoping to release an album’s worth of material in 2022, and expand my network of collaborators and partners. It’s a huge encouragement to have interest from the press such as yourself, and I appreciate it.
Since live music is slowly coming back, where would you like to perform at?
I love festivals and would love to do a few in 2022. Lollapalooza is sort of a dream. When the time comes to perform, I want it to be meaningful and visually engaging. I don’t want to rush out to play live if it’s not highly polished and remarkable. When I do announce shows, I’ll know I’ve done everything I can to give you the absolute best show.
Make sure to check out Possible Impossible at the following sites: