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Josh Tepper's 'Built Me': Pop's Next Favourite Sound


Josh Tepper, introspective and raw, in the cover art for 'Built Me'.
Josh Tepper, introspective and raw, in the cover art for 'Built Me'.
Josh Tepper's 'Built Me': Where Emotional Complexity Meets Pop Sensibility

The first time I hit play on Josh Tepper's "Built Me," I felt like I'd stumbled into a clandestine gathering of genres, each one mingling, clinking glasses, and sharing intimate secrets. Here's a New York artist who's clearly absorbed the city's kaleidoscopic culture, the classical training, the underground gigs, the relentless hustle. He's channelled it all into a track that's as layered as a New York deli sandwich.


At the core of "Built Me" is Tepper's voice, which minimalises the obvious use of autotune that's become almost a default setting in modern pop. Instead, he opts forn a understated rawness, his vocals imbued with an almost acapella purity. It's a gutsy move, and it pays off, lending the song an emotional gravitas that's often lacking in the genre.


Josh Tepper, a portrait of an artist on the verge of defining a new pop era.
Promo Shot of Josh Tepper

But it's not just the vocals that have me hitting the replay button. It's the genre-blurring audacity of the track. Picture a dark room where bedroom pop and indie pop are slow-dancing, while alt-rock is at the bar, pouring shots for commercial pop. That's what "Built Me" feels like—a party where the invite list spans your Spotify library. The result is a sound that could easily fill the rooms of Manhattan's Lower East Side, where Tepper is set to perform next month.


Lyrically, Tepper dives into the murky waters of past relationships. It's a theme as old as time, but in his hands, it feels freshly poignant. He’s essentially holding up a mirror to his past, examining the fragments of experiences that have shaped him. It's a musical self-portrait, and each brushstroke is a lyric, a note, a beat.


Tepper himself says, "This song is about the pieces of past relationships that form the person you become." Well, if this song is anything to go by, those pieces have coalesced into an artist who isn't afraid to break the mould. And in an industry that often prizes formula over creativity, that's a rare and valuable thing. So, if you're tired of the same old tunes and you're looking for a song that's as challenging as it is catchy, give "Built Me" a spin. It’s a four-minute masterclass in how to make pop music that actually pops.


Genre: Alt Rock Pop, Commercial Pop

Mood: Reflective, Dark, Engaging



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