Being retro in style without recycling anything from the past is incredibly hard, but somehow Queeva manages to make it sound pretty simple in her new single “Over Time” this November. None of the righteousness that often infects a retrospective on classic aesthetics is in the fold here; rather than trying to sound profoundly similar to the acts that came before them, Queeva is making a point of adopting the cosmetics and not the creative spirit of the content as it stood fifty or even a hundred years ago. Country-rock gets a sweet pop finish in this track that left me wanting more from this player, and if you’re feeling something a little old school this autumn, “Over Time” is the right single for your stereo.
The groove here deliberately serves to frustrate the verse, but tension truly is Queeva’s best friend here. She doesn’t have to step outside of the plaintive poetic lines she draws around this narrative from the get-go – she has the benefit of letting the tense exchange between her lyrics and the percussion build up the anxiety in the rhythm, forcing a little more gusto from the backing band than they would have needed to provide otherwise. The main goal in “Over Time” is getting as much fire out of these players as possible without making the formulaic structure of the song sound incendiary, and to me, they’re giving us as grand a performance as I would anticipate in a proper live show.
I do wish that the guitar parts were just a bit louder in this mix, primarily because I think they have something greater to contribute to the harmony than they’re allowed to in this instance. With just a little less pushback from the percussion, the strings could have really competed with Queeva for our affections in the chorus, but I can also understand where this wouldn’t be desirable for the lead singer here. If getting an equal amount of tenacity out of each musician in the studio was part of the plan from the jump, singling out the race to climax between the guitar, the keys, and this singer wouldn’t have been ideal, though I wouldn’t completely shelve the idea as it could work wonders for similar material in the future.
It’s great to hear from Queeva after a period of relative dormancy on her closest rivals’ part in recent years, and with “Over Time” I think she asserts herself as being more than capable of stepping into the spotlight legitimately. There’s nothing fake in the emotional output of this single, and I think there is even a case to be made that Queeva herself is putting her heart out there to the audience in a way that she didn’t seem quite ready to do in her 2017 debut. The evolution is impossible to ignore if you’ve been watching this entire time, and even if you haven’t, this song is a good indicator of how ready for the next stage of her career this artist is.