Take an artist and strip their sound right down to the core and you’ll find what they’re really made of.
While Josh Middleton’s debut album was awash in EDM-honed pop influence, “Stay” is a whole new ballgame and a chance to really appreciate the vocals on this guy.
Honed right down to a wholesome piano line, overlain by his rich vocalism, it’s hard to believe Middleton hasn’t even cracked his twenties.
The honey-toned video, directed by Brett Jones from Tall Creatives, sees Middleton cut a lone figure in a deserted sun-soaked chapel. He perches on a pew, snug in white turtle-neck sweater, and belts out the song.
Perhaps the video takes the simplicity a little too far. While quality, warmly lit shots pan in, out, and around – that’s all they really do. He doesn’t budge from his position- and when a sweeping cinematic riff rolls around it feels a touch awkward.
Nevertheless, I’ll bring up the vocals again, because they truly are the tipping point here. And rather than hiding behind his previous electro-pop veil, which admittedly will make you dance, “Stay” reminds us why this 16-year-old is pushing to be on the forefront of the scene right now.