May I Ask by 5ON5


The weird Berliners are back again with an unlikely banger that doesn’t really bang.

5ON5 has a very peculiar way of creating their songs. While their music sounds, for whatever reason, inherently un-radio friendly, it has a sustained charm that manages to keep me hooked. With one quirky decision or another that they choose to dominate each song, with off-kilter production choices and multiple vocal parts that sound like they belong in different universes, their music sounds unique, left-field, and consistently brilliant.

May I Ask is the simplest song I’ve heard of them. A steady kick is a whole beat. All of it. A bass plays to that kick, simple root notes, no frills. The harmonic structure is delivered by, well, a keyboard. A single keyboard that sounds airy and washed-out is the only discernible device that plays chords. Oh, and what chords does it play? The composition is an absolute highlight. A writhing part that sounds rhythmic and exciting. Melancholic and sweet at the most part, with sudden pangs of uncommon, borrowed chords that grabbed my attention by the scruff of the neck. The harmonic rhythm plays a central role in this song, with chords not lasting the same durations, making the harmony, and thus, the melodies, a main part of the rhythmic structure, a decision which, in my opinion, kept this song exciting and dynamic, with its sparse drum and bass parts. A brilliant sound

For the third time in a row, 5ON5 manage to get me on board, proving that music is much more than the sum of its parts. 5ON5’s piece is technically flawed. With production that is quirky and uncommercial, and voices that beautifully and artistically fill in the gaps, but do not shine and glimmer on top of them, it might be hard for them to reach mainstream audiences, but with interesting ideas and execution, their music sound consistently fresh and exciting.   



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