I’ve watched Aidan Bissett‘s following (and streams) grow exponentially in the last two years, and I’ve fallen more and more in love with each one of his new releases. But finally, his new song “Ultraviolet” is the one that made me really see it, as it perfectly encapsulates what I like so much about his music.
The beginning of “Ultraviolet” made me think that maybe we were getting an acoustic, slow-ish track this time, but only 10 seconds later I stood corrected.
Written with Captain Cuts’ Ryan Rabin and Benjamin Berger (Walk The Moon, Bebe Rexha) and Casey Smith (Jonas Brothers), the same instrumental force that is so vividly present in his most recent singles, “Bloom” and “Sick,” is still there, and it’s working just as effectively.
This decision to remain in an undefined territory between indie rock and pop has made the 21-year-old’s musical style one that, by now, sounds very much like his own. The lyrics remain soft, casual and relatable, as it represents the coming-of-age phase he’s still going through. But the instrumentals, always including compelling guitar riffs and delicate melodies, prevent him from plummeting into repetitive or basic land.
By relying on two very popular and similar but different enough genres, I think he probably gets to experiment and have more creative freedom when making songs. At the same time, it also allows him to reach a broader audience, no matter what side of the spectrum they lean more into. It’s a pretty successful formula that we see a lot of newer artists trying out, but that won’t always work unless they find their own perfect balance, the way I believe Aidan has done.
“Ultraviolet” in particular talks about the significance and insignificance of our existence. The universe is so big, and we are so small, and yet we get to live through experiences that feel bigger than anything we’ve ever known (“When I’m with you, I feel it all / Planet and stars, we are so small”). The title song is already a reference to how strong emotions really are: ultraviolet light is not visible to the human eye, but it literally and physically leaves a mark on us (don’t forget to put on sunscreen every single day for the rest of your life <3).
Myself and so many others have already talked over and over again about how saturated the industry is right now, and how everybody is copying everybody else with the sole purpose of hopefully going viral on *drumroll* TikTok. Aidan is, indeed, another TikTok baby, but his music never seemed to be deliberately made to work on the platform, it just happened to be really good and work on the platform. That’s a win to me! And it reminds me that, as much as the “TikTokfication” of music is messing up a lot of things and has arguably become one of the fundamental pillars of the industry, it’s also given talented people a starting place, and given us new music to enjoy and artists to support.
“Ultraviolet” is out now.