The Chainsmokers are simultaneously familiar and fresh in sound on ‘Kills You Slowly’
The second sample of World War Joy is here. Entitled “Kills You Slowly,” the single straddles The Chainsmokers aesthetic long familiar to listeners and the stylistic deviation that defines the sequel to the previously released “Who Do You Love.” As in past productions like the landmark hit, “Closer,” Drew Taggart takes on vocal duties, but unlike many of The Chainsmokers’ prior offerings, Taggart is the song’s sole vocalist. Another well-worn Chainsmokers construction is the decidedly narrative quality of the lyrics that comprise “Kills You Slowly.”
“Kills You Slowly” doesn’t tout a saccharine, sing-a-long friendly lyrical hook that would warrant the application of the descriptor “infectious,” and that is perhaps precisely where “Kills You Slowly” begins to depart from preceding Chainsmokers singles. The lyrical story of “Kills You Slowly” develops at the pace fittingly mentioned in the song’s title: slowly. The tune is a stripped down number that foregrounds Taggart’s vocals.
In further contrast to predecessors of The Chainsmokers’ expansive catalog, “Kills You Slowly” bears no punchy synth work, no fiery drop: 808s feature in the background, but do so in an unimposing, complementary fashion. The song fades out with the faintest guitar plucks, which gently conclude The Chainsmokers’ most muted showing to date. The duo’s shift in sonic direction pays off—that’s audible.
Photo credit: Rukes