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MICHELLE’s “UNBOUND” – Track Review

MICHELLE is proving yet again that they are the masters of creating lush, sunbaked dreamscapes. In their newest single, the six-piece collective exudes ‘90s R&B passion with a pop of synth. 

The New York indie-pop group is known for their exquisite melodies. In their debut album, HEATWAVE, MICHELLE experimented with bedroom-pop sounds, creating a dreamy soundscape. Last month, they collaborated with Arlo Parks on “SUNRISE,” the first track the band released since debuting their album in 2018. 

With their new track, “UNBOUND,” MICHELLE have shifted their focus towards an R&B approach, creating a ballad worthy of iconic ‘90s groups like Boyz II Men, Destiny’s Child, and TLC.   

The track starts with a simple synth melody, shortly followed by the euphonic drum machine. Enter Sofia D’Angelo’s sleek and velvety vocals, warming the mind and soul. With the addition of the band’s soft, hypnotizing harmonies, the listener is transported to a rich ambiance illuminated by golden rays.      

According to The Fader, MICHELLE describes the meaning behind their single, and what they wanted to achieve in the track. “It’s about desire: the kind that oozes for the person you do want and the kind that evaporates for the person you don’t. We wanted to make something groovy and colorful, that could access nostalgia while also giving our listeners something new and danceable in a way we haven’t before.”

This message is evident in the music video for the single. Directed by Madeline Leshner, the video shows the band enjoying themselves at a park, with a focus on D’Angelo. The story follows her longing to be with someone who appears uninterested. Viewers are transported into D’Angelo’s room, which is filled with violet hues. The setting is reminiscent of today’s teens using colorful LED lights as room decor. What makes the video appear dated is D’Angelo’s usage of a landline phone, the appearance of a boxy TV set, and a close up of a Tamagotchi.  

“UNBOUND” is a perfect slow dance song choice to request at your high school prom or at any social gathering. With lyrics like “I been thinkin’ bout you all night” and “Baby, won’t you be mine?”, lovers and hopeless romantics alike are bound to ask their companion (or crush) out on the dancefloor to sway with the rhythmic harmonies. MICHELLE only make bops, so it is no surprise that they have another hit on their hands.      

Ratings: 9/10

Article By: Selena Choy