Listening | Cannot Hold You by Flux Pavillion, Jamie Lidell (2022)

Album Art from Spotify

At the time of this blog post I am listening to ”Cannot Hold You” from Flux Pavillion and Jamie Lidell.

Flux Pavillion’s bio from Spotify:

Flux Pavillion’s polymath-like ability to involve himself in all aspects of music cannot be understated…

Well known for his signature-sound… Flux has the ability to take people on a journey with his experimental sound…

Spotify, posted by Flux Pavillion

Jamie Lidell’s bio from Spotify:

British producer Jamie Lidell became as widely recognized for his effective neo-soul vocals and performances as for his earlier career as a producer of groovy experimental techno…

Spotify, posted by Jamie Lidell

Originally produced for an episode of Andrew Huang’s Four Producers One Sample on YouTube, the track was later released on Spotify and other platforms.

Listening to the original track that was sampled, “A Rose” by Jamie Lidell and then listening to Flux Pavilion’s “Cannot Hold You,” it becomes apparent that he aimed to keep a fair amount of the original mood of the song.

In many of Flux’s songs, his background as both a singer/songwriter and producer both shine through nicely, and “Cannot Hold You” is no different. The song sets a similar mood to that of the original sample and tells an interesting musical story as you listen to this 4m 12s journey.

The song begins quietly with a repeating chord and some atmospheric, cinematic elements. This slowly builds with some overlaid vocals. As the main vocals initially come in, the drums follow partway through the phrase and you are immediately dropped into both a movie, and a laid back musical groove as Lidell’s remixed voice softly sings “I cannot hold you anymore…”. The phrase is repeated again but with a bit more umph, and sans the percussion as the track transitions into a drop. Suddenly the well-known sawtooth that Flux is known for creates the breaking point in the song (and whatever story you’ve started creating in your head as you listen).

This track manages to feel big as well as small at the same time. Jamie Lidell’s voice from the original track is so perfectly suited for both that song and the song that Flux has created. There are heartfelt, painful sections that feel relatable. The breaking point and the big “Flux-y” sections feel grand and somehow both victorious but also terrifying.

The track has parts that get progressively grittier, heavier, and more emotional with some great guitar solos played by Flux on his guitar which he built himself. But despite the heavier portions, there are returns to the softer bits of the song and nods to the moments passed in the song and to whatever history there is behind the story that gets put into your head. The track exits with a great simplied version of the melody and chord progression but sans guitar, and all sawtooth.

If you’re looking for the track that would be your theme song during your turning point and villain arc, look for further than ”Cannot Hold You” from Flux Pavilion. It’s a great ride.

Happy listening,

~ Griff

Author: griffethbarker

Griff is a tinkerer and manager of IT, consultant of IT and management, and continuous student of organizational development. His hobbies and interests include games of all types (video, board, dice, card, tabletop, etc.) as well as listening to music, photography, and writing. Find him on LinkedIn!

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