A bittersweet rock song with an incredible drive forward. With a deep groove and a hypnotic rhythm, I can confidently say that ‘This City Shines So Bright’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard all year long.

The brainchild of songwriter, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Friedlander, self-taught in 24 instruments, the enigmatically named minus32heartbeat is a difficult-to-pigeonhole musical project. On his second single, second single from his upcoming debut album, Friedlander is touching on punk, industrial, shoegaze, and noise rock, all in a song that sounds endlessly light, effervescent, and flowing.

The only song I have for comparison is the unconventional ‘Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors’ by Radiohead, with its robotic, repetition-based rhythm, or perhaps Lea Porcelain’s ‘Warsaw Street’ with its similarly noisy and driving dynamic. With an atmosphere built around a pounding rhythm guitar part, quantized to oblivion, and a driving, 4-on-the-floor groove, the song is downright addictive. As if the instrumental wasn’t hypnotic enough, Friedlander’s vocals are soft-spoken on the song and the melodies are immediate and infectious. The words are also quite poetic, talking about what sounds like a search for a friend or a source of comfort in the big, bright, New York City lights and lies.

‘This City Shines So Bright’ is one of the simplest songs I’ve heard all year that is at one profoundly deep. With stirring words and a numbing instrumental, I was overcome by a sense of massive comfort as I had this song on a loop for roughly 30 minutes. I have a feeling I’ll be repeating this activity often in the upcoming weeks.