Credit: Abe Sanders

“Not So” is the return song from German band Waking Dreams after they took a three-year break. The song feels like it bridges so many gaps and fuses the pieces of influence from where it draws, but that’s not the only cool thing about this single.

The song starts out with pumping (and almost marching) drums and a bassline that screams 90s goth with all of its darkness and intensity. The darkened atmosphere that’s akin to 80s synth pop/synth rock and darkwave immediately reminded me of some of my favorite goth and post-punk bands from that era, but I won’t name names as this song deserves to be appreciated for its own unique character and distinct sound. These guys have achieved a deceptively simple equation of making a track that’s brooding and dark (in a flashy darkwave kinda way) without making it too moody or too dark to enjoy.

The way the bassline is mixed with the drums accentuates its nostalgic factor while still keeping it fit for a more modern atmosphere. I felt like I wanted to be there in their studio or jamming room and see how they make their songs because of such details. Last but not least, the larger-than-life vocals here move the track from the realm of being amazing to being a masterpiece. They have reverb and processing that complement their mood, but they aren’t reliant on those effects. This is how you know you have both a great singer and a great mixing engineer/producer to support your work. I recommend this track to anyone who likes a touch of 80s synthpop on top of their alternative rock.