Past Lives – [Martin Arteta]

Often times, I pay attention only to the music scene in the United States, as most people do, but when artists from other countries begin to gain traction in the US industry, I know that means they have a truly wonderful talent. As for Martin Arteta, he’s a singer I just found out about who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, but there were a few key points that made him stand out to me even before tuning into his most successful release. I was shocked to find out that he was only 17 years old, and it turns out that music is just a hobby at the moment, although he’s hoping to turn it into his career eventually. He has also been producing for around 6 years, at this point, starting to make music on his dad’s computer at only 11 years old.

Although his BØRNS cover of their song “Past Lives” has been out for quite some time at this point, I’m just finding out about it now and after hearing it, I couldn’t help but write about it. It was produced by martin himself with the help of additional producers named by_joelmichael and Alex Marcu, and although it is about as simplistic as an instrumental can get, it also packs a very important punch that is unlike anything I’ve heard in recent memory. For about the first thirty seconds, multiple vocal layers of all different pitches are in full effect, as they’re filtered and contain reverberation that simply echoes like crazy and fills your eardrums with some wonderfully angelic notes.

After we get further into the track, minimal piano keys, claps, and calm 808s begin to unfold, slowly adding some rhythm into the offering, although the vocals alone seemed to be right on track with the tempo of the song even without these elements. The lyrics seem to repeat on a loop, but the notes are various as they raise and lower throughout. There seems to be a melancholic feel to them that pairs with a sense of hopefulness and optimism, a vibe that I’ve noticed come out often in many Indie cuts, and although it’s hard to classify this record concretely in that genre, it definitely has a similar feel that combines with elements of other genres as well. With about 25 seconds left, the vocals cut out and the beat continues to play as some sort of calm violin or synths begin to play, ending things on a serene, tranquil, and peaceful note.

While this style of music strays a bit further off the beaten path than what I normally listen to, the fact that I was as into it as I was makes me understand that this is definitely a hit, although not necessarily in the traditional sense you might be thinking of. Although music starts out as a hobby for most artists, I think that Martin should really go all out and take a leap of faith, because his talent is definitely abundant, and it shows loud and clear in this record. I also discovered that after just 50 days of this record being out, it already amassed over 1 million streams, so the numbers and success are there, without a doubt. I’m not sure what’s next for the young talent, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for future releases because if they’re anything close to as good as “Past Lives”, they’re sure to do numbers.