Song of the Week: Underwater Love by Smoke City

Cami Keyani, Staff Writer

Ever since The Beatles made history with “Yellow Submarine,” it seems that popular music and the sea have been irrevocably connected. From the childish throes of “Under the Sea” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” to the unforgettable “Come Sail Away” by Styx,  a fascination with the great blue has permeated music.

Now Ariel’s sexy Brazilian cousin (Editor’s note: Not actually her cousin), Nina Miranda, the female vocalist of Smoke City, seeks to lure us into the great deep again with her infectious voice. Smoke City is a UK-based band that features Miranda, the lead vocalist, and has a heavy influence from South American music in general.

“Underwater Love,” Smoke City’s 1997 hit, was used in a Levi’s advertisement and received recognition from the American listener, but sadly it failed to launch Smoke City to the widespread fame that the trio deserved. The song is unique to the American music palette because it starts slow and barely speeds up throughout the song.

The slow, undulating drum beat gives the song a trippy, dream-like feeling, and the screeching rainforest sounds in the background make this a perfect reprieve from the steel bars of winter into a humid rainforest of resonating vocals and music. The repeating guitar chord in the background that lasts for almost the entirety of the song gives it its distinctly Mediterranean feel.

Perhaps better than the trance-inducing background music are Miranda’s beautiful vocals, which roll off her tongue incredibly organically and seductively. Even better than her exotic purring of the English hook would be when she transitions to a string of spoken Portuguese without using her full singing voice.

Press play and sumbmerge yourself into this addictive Song of the Week.