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  • Jennifer Janz

IRIS - Lay With You

Lay with You is the new release for emerging New Zealand music artist Iris. Taken from her debut album, Lay with You is a dance pop track with a quasi-sensual edge and a confident, convincing vocal performance.

With over 1million views and counting for Lay with You’s video, a string of previous single releases, including the tracks Don’t Wait Up, Painted Love,Frozen Hearts, Foresight and Dangerous, have helped enhance the vocalist’s profile and social presence. Perhaps the most persuasive element of Lay with You, aside from an assured and determined kind of vocal, is the record’s blend of a sense of wounded sultriness with a restrained dance aesthetic.

Sure, many of the tropes utilised are part of contemporary pop’s swag of must-have ingredients; the reliance on technology to morph the vocal into a shiny perfectionism, the background chants, the half-exotic sounding ambient textural glaze but there is enough of the less is more precept here to transform it into a palatable record. Again, this could be seen as a characteristic that is used too frequently also but with Lay with You, the intimacy generated is aided by these spaces, whether it’s the spare drum machine accompaniment or the skeletal keyboard/synth parts: they do seem to provide a minimalist scaffolding for what is undoubtedly the overriding layer of sugar here and that’s Iris coy but in command vocal style.

Last Time is a satisfying blend of pop and country with the main source of its heat generated by the clear cut lyric.’

The lyric is as direct as it needs to be when focused on one sole aim and there is a convivial symbiosis between the melodic passages and the chosen vocabulary. It all fits. There is a nod to some of the essentials of house music here which is perhaps another relieving characteristic as it refreshingly imbues the track with what is now considered a retro element.

One can imagine hearing a muffled version of Lay with You as one walks by a city or suburban club at three am, the sparkling cadences suddenly discernible as the front door opens to let patrons in or let others out, the blue-tinged expectancy of the track tempting one to walk inside.



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