Mal the Oddity
‘Alone With You’
Mal the Oddity might win the award for Best Artist Name of 2020. He’s Brooklyn native, he still resides in the borough, and this is his fourth release of 2020, and his sound has slowly evolved from a more hip-hop based sound to what the kids call bedroom R&B. Whatevs. This shit is dope.
Mal explains the track:
I believe that relationships are like mirrors. As much as ‘Alone With You’ is written about someone close to me, it’s also a self-portrait. I had a lot of questions while writing this song: how can two people feel lonely when they’re together? How do we bridge the distance between ourselves and loved ones, when things have gone bad in the past? Are these questions for my loved one, or questions for myself? The search for some answers resulted in this song.
This is one of the things I love most about art, and about music in particular. Art is oftentimes about the artist working through a problem, an issue, and the product is the result of that process. And in this case, Mal is asking questions we have all asked at some point in our life, whether we’re in a relationship or not, whatever the status of that relationship. Art in this sense is universal, and yet, it is also so, so personal. It is Mal’s song and vision, but how it sounds to me is also based on my response and reaction to this song. I guess in this way, I’m extrapolating here, the idea of this as ‘bedroom R&B’ makes sense (though I’m certain this isn’t what the kids mean), in that the intimacy of this song, the lyrics, the beat play out these questions and Mal’s relationship in real time.
The song itself is structured around a beat and the attendant bass, and a beautiful little synth riff. His vocals are both distant and present, and add to this dreamy kind of feeling he gives us. This is a great track from an emerging artist who has already found his own voice.