Fresh Hex begins a new chapter with ‘I’m Gone’
It’s a historically meaningful moment when any producer begins to sing on their own tracks. It generally tends to represent some sort of coming out, the moment where an artist begins to transcend themselves and what their work was before. Consider the humanism that SOPHIE’s raw vocals bring to a track like ‘It’s Okay To Cry’, the culmination of a years-long, carefully considered meta-narrative unveiling the producer’s image, or JAMES BLAKE when he begun singing in autotuned choral arrangements over his abstract, post-dubstep compositions. But it appears that Melbourne producer FRESH HEX has reached a similar point in his career with his new track, ‘I’m Gone’.
But ‘I’m Gone’ is momentous in more ways than one for the Melbourne producer, his first single since returning from a prolonged absence (which Fresh has addressed in a Facebook post that you can read here). The two facts are not unrelated: according to the producer, the track “was written at a time when I was feeling vulnerable and entirely dejected. Writing and finishing this song has been a huge process – but it marks the beginning of my exploration of future-forward pop as Fresh Hex”.
The first thing to note about Fresh Hex’s vocals are simply that they sound completely of a piece with his music, matching the elastic, saccharine bounce of the production with a candied lightness, giving the whole track a hyperreal sheen. It helps too that Hex is able to intoxicatingly work the vocals into the instrumental fold by chopping, screwing and modulating the track’s hook in a three minute, guarana-fuelled, all-serotonin-cylinders-firing rush.
The other thing to note is how Fresh plays around with the presence of voices (plural) throughout the track, moving between the higher voice and a more masculine-sounding, sinister voice that punctuates the track, emphasising certain phrases: “so strong!”. The two voices meet each other during the track’s bridge, weaving in and out of each other to the point that they become virtually indistinguishable, much like the bridge on SOPHIE’s ‘Immaterial’: “There’s something special ’bout the things that you can do for me / But honestly I deserve much more now that I feel so free”. Its delivery sounds desperate but empowered at the same time, but more than that it’s just impressive, especially for a producer singing on their first track.
As far as steps forward go, Fresh Hex’s ‘I’m Gone’ is a remarkably self-assured one. It should help to define the rest of his career from here.
To celebrate the release, Fresh Hex has put together a massive launch party with a bunch of pals. See those details below:
Photo by Jade Florence
Words by KYLE FENSOM