Synthwave Single Review: "No Time" by Neon Arcadia
Neon Arcadia’s single No Time combines a computerized sounding musical backing with powerful vocals that deliver a message of accepting things as they are and striving to take control within our own lives, avoiding damage to ourselves in a rush to get ahead. The contrast between the impassioned message of the song and the “computerized” background is an interesting one. In my mind, it just emphasizes the power of the song’s message.
No Time opens up with a bed of technological-sounding whirrs and high pitched noises. There’s a futuristic feeling to the track that is further emphasized by a suite of spaced out sounds echoing through the track’s wide open sonic landscape. The vocals are also a bit spacey as they slide into the track. There’s an active chiptune melody that complements the vocals and those chip sounds cement the futuristic feeling of the track. It’s all supported by the angular sound of the bass and drums that move underneath the melody.
The most powerful part of No Time is the lyrics. The opening words that Neon Arcadia's vocalist Tom sings, “I don’t even know your name but i can see you playing all the right games/I don’t mean to be the one who says without your fame we look the same way” speak about the veneer of celebrity that conceals a real human being underneath its superficiality.
Tom contrasts this with the statement that “I don’t wanna hustle no drug or bustle things up to get my own way/I just wanna be the one who’s taking over my fate and over my pain” as he speaks about walking a path that is all one’s own, accepting responsibility for one’s own fate.
The song goes on to say that we must accept the present and be happy that “the motor still runs” and cautions against foolish risks as Benny sings, “With our lives in front of us, there’s no time to be dangerous/Save your throne for somebody else.”
He concludes, “If you wanna turn it around, it’s never too late until it’s too late/ Take another lesson my friend, don’t wait til the end.”
I am intrigued by the way that Neon Arcadia can create a wide variety of sounds within the broader synth envelope and make it work. The previous single that I reviewed, Easy Lover, was a retrowave cover of a Phil Collins love song and it was well done, No Time is equally well done if in a completely different way.