There is a certain amount of intrigue in the antiquity of an R&B harmony piece. Like the finely polished brass of yesteryear's boybandish group efforts from the likes of Pretty Ricky and Boyz ll Men, Memphis duo Mulherin are successfully able to sonically express conversation and internal thought with their unique duality of approach.
Both members of the group, Marshall and Parker Mulherin, who are in fact twin brothers, exist in their own creative spaces from start to finish of their silky sound's process. They write. They produce. They sing. And they come together to make absolutely smashing R&B hits reminiscent of a simpler time while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of the fast-paced, explosively growing modern spectrum of non-genre vocalism.
A new single, Never Know, captures their ability to so seamlessly collaborate with one another - a feat made even more impressive when we take into account that most siblings could never come anywhere close to agreement in the ways necessary to produce such clean and innovative artistry.
The song, which firmly addresses all of our collective relationship insecurity, finds its point of relatability through a series of explorative sonic elements. Mulherin's buttery vocals are put immediately on display in an opening verse, capturing the entirety of our attention while exploring their romantic lyricism, and are kept in exhibition through the first addicting hook. An instrumental solo at Never Know's midpoint draws attention to the unexpected intricacies of their production before giving way to a breakdown reminiscent of our collective mind's attempt to reconcile the doubts about the special someone(s) populating our insecure thoughts. The song finds a sense of closure with a return to the chorus before we are immediately drawn to a desire to put it on repeat and start it once again.
Its rapid fire change of pace and shifts of stance on the emotional issues at hand provide its vibe something introspective and reflective of thought process during times of emotional stress. Its sonic texture really feels like unavoidably self-conscious doubt and a lack of faith in our love lives - not an easy emotional range to capture.
Enough about structure. What's really so great about Mulherin and about Never Know is the laid-back, mellow Rhythm & Blues approach that is so successfully able to transcend both the epochal expanse of the genre and the very idea of genre altogether.
There is no doubt of their talent and little doubt that at their current pace, Mulherin will come to represent a very key corner of the R&B spectrum and come to be a serious presence on the entirety of unbound anti-genre modernism. Their sound after all, though comparable in some ways to classic R&B and the current peaks of the style, is one purely their own and born of so many unique elements that it would be unjust to focus on them purely from such a lens.
Long story short: Don't sleep.