Contemporary Music Review: theTh3rd Singles Part 1
theTh3rd is a music creator with a fascination for horror. He has been a musician for over 20 years and has combined the two passions into a cohesive whole. Rather than reviewing each of theTh3rd’s tracks individually, I thought I would combine them to give my readers an overview of his work and the themes that run through it and unite it. This is the first of two reviews that combine his singles and look at his approach to music and the ideas that he explores within it.
There is an unsettling atmosphere that pervades theTh3rd’s track “Bottom of the Beauty.” It has delicacy and grace, but through all of it there’s a sense of menace hidden just below the surface. The track begins with a repeated cluster of light piano notes along with a soft rush of air. The sound of gentle, slightly distorted synths in the background add darkness to the lightly floating notes that sit on top of them.
After breaking into delicately interwoven notes, a darker series of chords intrudes underneath, along with the strings that yearn and add a melancholy, aching note to the music. Now there are heavy, dark piano chords with lighter notes touching on them as dark drums come in, again again upping the ante for all things threatening and intense.
"(new) Normal" combines ghostly sounds, moments full of tightly wound tension and a feeling of dark weight hiding behind everything, a constant presence that tugs on the edges of our perception. It is a track that is full of portent and fragility, in a potent mixture.
The track begins with one high pizzicato string that repeats with short pauses in between. It is joined by high, ghostly-feeling synths that drift over top of the single repeating note. Now darker synths rise into the wide open space of the track as the ethereal higher sounds float over them The track has an eerie, spectral feel to it but some warmth as well. All of these sounds feel suspended in wide open spaces. I am intrigued by the combination of darkness and light, gentleness and weight in this track.
As the track moves toward a conclusion, the tightly wound synths break into a simple beat with a minimalist feeling. Eventually the track drifts to that single pizzicato string sound and synth drift, piano notes moving into the soundscape.
Again there’s a real sense of contrast between disparate elements on "(new)Normal" which is something that theTh3rd seems to be interested in exploring. So far I find the explorations rather interesting.
For a track with such an in your face title, "Fuck Your Glass House" has strong classical (or modern classical) music influences that extend from instrumentation (cello and a string section) to the overall feelings given by those strings. It is a track that again combines lightness with something that seethes and broods underneath it.
The track opens with a driving cello, playing a pattern of rapid notes that add intensity to the track. There’s a real edge of darkness here with the synths that drift under that powerful, moving cello. There are high chimes that play quick arpeggios and the strings come in, aching and mournful.
The strings stir restlessly again as that chime rings out, repeating and adding a off-kilter delicacy to the music. Those strings continue to bring a sense of depth to the track, over a steady slow pulse of electronic sound.
"Fuck Your Glass House" is a track that makes me think of something sinister creeping up on me. The way that theTh3rd is able to express himself through music and explore the darkness that always hides just beyond our vision is something that is consistent across all of his music.