Artist Spotlight: Vanessa Richardson
Montreal/Toronto-based singer-songwriter and producer, Vanessa Richardson, hypnotizes listeners with her immersive, cross-genre songs. At 17, she released her debut self-produced EP, ‘Dawn Cadence’. Being entirely self-taught, she describes a process of forming melodies in a world of her own — her head, which are then transferred to her software and unleashed into our world.
Her latest single, “Spider” is a standalone work of art that draws the listener in with its low melodies and experimental sounds.
Richardson’s production techniques are creative and personal. “Spider” begins with a chorus of voices that remind me of the Songs of the Underground Railroad, led by a low vocal melody.
The song clearly draws inspiration from African-American music, which is quite timely considering the Black Lives Matter movement that has over the world and our news.
With minimal instrumentals, the song is driven by the perpetuating background vocals and a snare-like beat. At certain points, I began to feel overwhelmed by the background vocals and the lead vocal felt buried. However, at one point in the song, the background vocals cut out leaving just the lead vocal and the percussive accompaniment. This is a powerful moment in the song because she repeats the title of the song, “spider,” over and over in a hypnotizing trance.
“Spider” is nothing like I’ve ever heard before and pushes the limits of contemporary alternative music. I was a bit disappointed when the song ended because it felt too short. I wanted to hear more of her beautiful voice and I would have liked if there was more of a beginning, middle, and end to the song.
Listen to “Spider” by Vanessa Richardson here: