Funky Nothings is 2016 UR graduate and musical genius Gabriel Becker’s artist name. His music can only be found on SoundCloud, which adds to its rare allure.
But rarity is not the only thing Funky Nothings has going for him. With the four songs on his SoundCloud, Becker shows impressive songwriting chops, impeccable production technique, and sharp lyricism.
The most recent and most impressive song on the page is the nine-minute power ballad “Reflection.” Aside from its incredibly ambitious form, the song touches upon several eras of music in a captivating way.
For one, the slow, mournful melody harkens to late ‘70s singer-songwriters like Alan Parsons and Kenny Loggins. There’s a definite majestic, periwinkle-tinged sheen to Becker’s singing on the track, and the melancholy lyrical themes of growing up as a college graduate only add to the glow.
Becker also includes ambient noise as the intro and as interludes in the track, fading them in and out to produce a chilling, psychedelic effect. What’s more, Reflection’s bridge section is an exploration in classical harmony, with some gorgeous bass guitar tapping and haunting vocal melodies.
The next track, “Sun Shine Down,” has a laidback, swampy funk groove, without sacrificing the lyrical depth of “Reflection.” The track has a distinct Trey Anastasio Band vibe. Although it’s tight, as a fan of emotional ballads, I’m partial to the next track, “Millisecond Pause.” This track has the same signature glow that made “Reflection” so enchanting, evoking the late-night dancehall cabin from David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.”
Becker shows off his rich, low vocal range on the track, straddling the line between naively pathetic and hauntingly disenchanted. It might be a laughable track if it were not produced and arranged to perfection. Instead, it’s surreally moving.
The first track on the Funky Nothings’ page is an upbeat, dork rock–type track with Weezer vibes. It has an exceptional bass line and guitar prowess, but compared to “Reflection,” it’s definitely cruder. This is perhaps the most exciting part of Funky Nothings’ hidden gem of a Soundcloud page—each track, released a month after the next, shows constant growth and improvement.
Time will only tell what gifts Funky Nothings bequeaths us in the future. At this rate, I think it’s safe to say he has a lot more magic in him that we haven’t heard yet.