If you have a good melody, you’ve already won the battle. Everything else there is to a song–beats, atmospheres, vocals, production–are just gravy. The Things I Whisper In Your Ear is living proof of that.
Beasty Godiva is the product of Guillermo Batiz, born in Sonora but residing in Australia, better known for his musical activities as donMoy. He was a member of Childs, and is now presenting a solo outing that might take a few people by surprise since it mixes and matches a wide array of sounds and genres. Beasty Godiva marks a break from a self-imposed retirement, and we’re better off for it.
The Things I Whisper In Your Ear features hip-hop beats with melancholic minimalist notes and a dark atmosphere. The reverb-drenched bedroom compositions each have their own personality– some relying on electronic instrumentation, others aided by acoustic guitars, and all of the elements coming together to evoke a desolate soundscape. In fact, there are many moments when the music has a downright goth sensibility that gets mixed up with the R&B and folk leanings. This might make it sound like a disaster (or a very cheesy concoction, at least), but Batiz’s effected Robert Smith-like vocals over urban chill beats and digital pings sound really great together.
The beats, vocals, and instrumentation tie together very early on to define Godiva’s sound; however, the project fares best when it reaches unfamiliar territory. “Darklight,” placed almost exactly in the middle of the album, features acoustic guitar and whispered vocals as a break from the head bobbing march of the preceding four cuts, making us appreciate the overall sound even more. One of the highlights of the album is “Someday,” a cut that trades the gloom for optimism, reminding me of 80s synthpoppers OMD in its well-developed melodies. The title track is another acoustic guitar number punctuated by beats and whistling, providing one of the most effective uses of the formula.
Lyrically speaking, Batiz alludes to pre-Hispanic and even pre-civilization mythology, dipping into the rich cosmology of the ancients to preach a message– although I’m not sure exactly what the message is, since the vocals are heavily altered. In the end, it doesn’t take away from the experience; the melodies are there, be them dark or light, presented to the listener to make them their own. There’s no greater currency or message.