South Florida singer-songwriter LAYTON knows how to catch your ear. Starting out as an acoustic folk singer in Nashville while studying songwriting at Belmont University, she eventually grew into a style of bouncy pop music perfect for summertime dance parties.
Her latest single “sad boy,” epitomizes this new style, boasting an irresistibly vibrant beat that blends digital production tricks with live instrument authenticity. Propelled by disco-influenced drums and reliably present electric guitar, the song has a constant forward motion. It rises and falls in rollercoaster waves of emotion, swelling up into a mini-drop until the dance-along falls away in favor of something more restrained, only to build up towards the next drop. These waves micic the singer’s emotional conflict as she begs her love interest to open his eyes and look at what he has in front of him. She knows him well enough to know that she is exactly what he needs, and she wants nothing more than for him to figure out the same.
LAYTON has hooks galore, packaging earworm after earworm into the track and giving it enough firepower to fill half a dozen radio hits. Each one might make the listener hum along even the first time that they hear it, but she switches between them so frequently that they’ll have no choice but to listen again in order to get their fix. LAYTON punctuates the song with bubbling vocal fills that froth just below the surface of the instrumental, filling the space between each infectious melody and imbuing the song with a digital propulsion that keeps it feeling fresh.
Taking the song to the next level is the bridge: It opens as a mellow lull after the enthusiastic chorus, but quickly builds into an irresistible shout-along pre-chorus that seems perfectly designed for summertime beach parties.