Single Review: Royal & the Serpent – Overwhelmed

Royal & the Serpent - Overwhelmed Artwork

So first off I actually came across the artist and this song in particular thanks to Tik Tok, getting music from Tik Tok has been an experience In and of itself, see the problem is Tik Tok is a lot, it’s an onslaught of sights and sounds and I suffer from pretty severe ADHD, the most prominent symptom of which is that I sometimes struggle with sensory overload if I’m getting too much stimuli at once. However I would not be the so-called social media guru I wish I was if I ignored a platform just because it’s pretty intense. I figure I conquered Tumblr, and I can conquer this. Besides, if we here at Off the Record didn’t embrace Tik Tok then we wouldn’t have discovered the amazing Toronto based artist Päter.

Anyway, the irony is not lost on me that I came across this song and artist on a platform which frankly still leaves me a little overwhelmed but let me tell you about them anyway. Royal & the Serpent is the performing name of New Jersey born musician Ryan Santiago. Overwhelmed was their first song released after signing up with Atlantic Records, and the track debuted on the 16th October 2020. I might be starting with this track because something about it just really hooked me, but I will be reviewing more of their music soon, but for now let’s see what I thought about this track.

‘Overwhelmed’ opens with the staticky warm up that I associate with old televisions, followed by a 911 soundbite, before a discordant melody, and a percussive beat merge with Royal & the Serpents synthy vocals. As the name suggests this track is fast driven, and has a lot of energy, hammering forward. It’s really catchy though, and it’s the type of song you can kind of get lost in. I particularly like the counterpoint between the slower, more subdued sections and the parts with the high energy instrumentals which create a busy backdrop, to some quick paced vocal delivery. Honestly though its hard to pin down why this song works so well, I guess because it kinda provides an external source for my own internal monologue, that and it’s just a phenomenal track, both catchy and memorable, deep and almost flighty at the same time. It was a real treat to discover on Tik Tok and I’m glad I had a chance to review it properly.

So that’s what I thought of ‘Overwhelmed’ by Royal & the Serpent and if you want to check that out for yourself then head on over to Spotify. While you’re at it, make sure and support the artist by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting their website

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