ings – Best Friend Meditation / Amelia

“This next song is a love song for your friends”. The guided meditation of ‘Best Friend Meditation’ is one of the finest pieces pop art we’ve heard in a while. This is only part one of a two single release from ings that has dropped today. The other track is ‘Amelia’. We’re going to talk about them for a bit.

ings is the project name of Inge Chiles, a Seattle-based singer-songwriter that occupies a place of melodic adult pop. It’s true that the scene has no deficit of songwriters with serious lyric ambition and acoustic guitars. However, ings leans into conventional subject matter of genre – friendship – with a kind of surreal, or magic realism that is unique, authentic and resonant.

Seldom has two-track single blended content and form so poetically, and been delivered with such charm.

The first single, ‘Best Friend Meditation’ is a spoken-word piece. A guided meditation that gently travels to the center of a relationship. Stripped of music the poem hangs naked. The chemistry, the ‘cosmic luck’ of being with the right person at the right time in life is quietly celebrated.

Inge has a voice of reflective confidence. It’s not easy being this vulnerable as a person, and as an artist it’s brave to release a single of ‘just’ spoken word verse. All of this, of course, makes the track one of the most enchanting, original takes you’ll hear in some time.

Second single, ‘Amelia’ is introduced in the final remarks of ‘Best Friend Meditation’. Here there is music. A warmth of walnut acoustics. ings is informed by folk; flutes bring the sound of summer birds. Percussion sounds like summer rain, and is that a viola lending light?

Lyrically, again there’s a discussion of compassion and love for a friend. It’s rare to have this kind of unadulterated celebration of the simple. Complexity comes from the slightly off-center barbs that are placed in production.

ings twists things slightly to the left. A vocal track suddenly becomes bottomless with reverb, a bank of strings washes over and then volume and distortion show the kind of energy sensed when waves of love form tsunamis.

ings has delivered a low-key bit of brilliance – pop art reaching beyond the time in which it was created. A quiet DIY classic. Or two.


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