Riley The Musician certainly isn’t defined by any particular sound or style; the Kansas City pop phenom has actually worked to sonically diversify himself on repeated occasions throughout his still-young career. Whether that is through integrating some nuanced and popular pop stylistics into his most recent project “Ana Kennedy,” or through simply always looking towards the next step as a completely forward-thinking figure, Riley has simply always been one to never let the idea of consistency get in the way of innovation.
But even with all that being said, perhaps no one could have predicted what a departure his most recent single “Iced Out” has turned out to be compared to the rest of his discography. This song relates to almost none other in his catalog of roughly 2 years, as it is something of an enormous contrast to his typically delightful and enlightening pop stylistics.
It truly is anything but that aforementioned description, as it takes the arguably the roughest, abrasive, and destructive side of Riley’s musicality and puts it on full display. It takes the listener through a bevvy of ear-bleeding sounds that range from pure distortion to warped and edgy samples of some sort, practically creating a hellish world in their own right throughout the song’s entirety.
Riley himself offers just a few accounts of his own signature and defining voice upon the track as well, not only adding to the song’s departure from its creator’s norm, but also making for a unique listen in its own right given how the instrumental takes nearly the entire center stage in its wake. That does not mean Riley’s vocal attitude here fails to shine through however, as the accounts that he does end up giving are some of the most intense and exhilarating passages that anyone can hear on a pop song this year.
If anything else, “Iced Out” makes it very clear that Riley The Musician is so far and beyond any sort of conventions that have been laid upon him as he continues to see more and more success. It really goes to show that he’s a creative first and foremost, and a working artist second — a status he has worked to build time and time again with a startling lack of misses in the process. This track is just the latest example of this notion being put to light, and one that will continue to see more and more additions with each successive release of his own.