“Shirley”, from Newcastle-based Warm Ride and Chicagoan NNAMDÏ, is a weird yet wonderful debut for the new collaborative project.
Though 2019 is wrapping up, it’s not quite time to acquiesce to year-end best-of lists yet. Exciting music is still being churned out on a daily basis. Moreso, incredible unknown artists are debuting interesting, introspective, unprecedented new tunes.
Case in point: “Shirley,” the first track from Warm Ride, a collaborative project led by Newcastle-based DJ, producer, and songwriter Jake Sills. Sills has slowly been making his way around the Aussie scene, even serving as Resident DJ at the King Street Hotel. On this debut, he works with the inimitable talent NNAMDÏ, the moniker for multi-instrumentalist mastermind Nnamdi Ogbonnaya. A powerhouse of the Chicago scene, Ogbonnaya has touched most of the exciting products to come out of the second city; he is currently on tour with Ohmme supporting Twin Peaks. While NNAMDÏ is perhaps known best for his bass and drum expertise, his silky smooth baritone that are put at the forefront on “Shirley.” Sills‘ background in sound design complements Ogbonnaya‘s vocal power perfectly, as Sills folds in a chattering drumbeat and sprinkles on occasional sonic embellishments that prove interesting without being inundating. The track is truly a collaboration, as the two distinctive artists pull their talents together to create something strange and strong.
Admittedly, the track has a quirky sound, with choral effects, vocal distortions, and twinkly keyboard diversions that make the sound shiny, slippery, and difficult to compare to other tracks coming from Sills‘ peers. However, its unique nature doesn’t make the track feel any less compelling. “Shirley” sounds like popping bubbles in summer sunshine, rolling your window down to smoke a much-needed cigarette, or jumping into a swimming pool.
On Twitter, NNAMDÏ writes about the song: “It’s about driving at dusk to pick up someone you love from the airport that you’ve missed a lot.” Like the track itself, this description is incredibly specific yet universally resonant. “Shirley” is a weird, wacky, wonderful little gift. Unwrap it below, and keep your ears perked for more from Warm Ride.