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Garrickson & Qole: A Stunning SoundCloud Find

Rising Soundcloud star Qole, in collaboration with producer Garrickson, is set to release a debut EP in the coming weeks. (Courtesy of the Artist)

As part of the rising tide of young SoundCloud creators, Garrickson and Qole, a vocalist-producer duo, are set to come out with their first EP rather soon. Along with young artists like Healy, Matt Burton and Caye, these artists form part of a new class of musicians facilitated by a more casual, accessible mode of music-making that has flourished on web-based music communities like SoundCloud. Their respective styles are comparable — jazzy, frank and poignant, they take advantage of the layering of sounds, coupling charmingly dynamic melodies and pithy vocals.

Garrickson and Qole fit neatly into this sect of young artists. While sparse in their releases — they’ve only dropped two singles on SoundCloud — their sound is notable. Garrickson’s voice is rough yet soothing. It is not pretty or sweeping, but instead has a down-to-earth tenderness. The lyrics themselves are similarly unassuming, but still puncturing in their comfortable, resonant simplicity. They dignify this kind of neighborhood talk — the bedroom thoughts, voicing the usual yearnings with charm.

It is Qole’s production, however, that seems to really crystallize the duo’s work, assembling each track with delicate and intelligent care. His style is clean and sharp: It holds its breath at the right moments only to release, skidding down the street, measures later. Despite his youth, Qole possesses a level of professionalism that is becoming increasingly rare with the rise of more streamlined, cursory music making. His skill, given the casual, accessible internet venue he’s chosen as a platform, is refreshing and unexpected.

Overall, what makes the work of Qole and Garrickson so elegant is the poignant relationship between vocals and production. Garrickson’s charming vocals populate the electro-jazz landscape composed by Qole. These soft declarations of ordinary love, the fraught everyday, and casual yet penetrating yearnings ease the fine and resolute muscles of Qole’s production.

The two work like distinct harmonies: weaving and mingling together, whispering to one another what could not be said otherwise. The coupling of the two creates a conversation that cannot be expressed through words, helpless to the collision and embrace of dual threads. In turn, this precise by-product sings, evoking droopy eyelids and daydreams.

All I’ve heard so far is “Cherry,” released just last week as our first taste of the upcoming EP, and an earlier work entitled “The Way I Do” – both only available on SoundCloud. But I’m ready for more.

Contact Tess Michaelson at tess18 ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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Tess Michaelson

Tess Michaelson

Tess Michaelson covers R&B and alternative music for the Arts & Life section of the Stanford Daily. She is an undeclared sophomore from Portland, Oregon on the track and field team with interests in English, philosophy, and music. She enjoys playing with dogs, dancing, traveling, and talking in strange voices. Contact her at tess18 'at' stanford.edu.