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Fundamentally Sound

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Colour Vision / Think About Things - Single (2021)


Review By Dan Fister

December 27, 2021

Ordering Information

This single streams on Spotify.

Dan Fister

To accommodate asynchronous a cappella in the time of COVID, Varsity Vocals limited 2021 ICCA competitors to just four minutes for their video sets. Fundamentally Sound used its time wisely and produced an inventive mashup of Colour Vision/Think About Things that drives a funny yet sweetly compelling video about the camaraderie of a cappella.

Arranger Niko Tutland brings together two synthesizer-heavy songs released in 2020, one a mid-tempo ethereal track by American singer-songwriter MAX and the other a dance-pop single written by Icelandic artist Daði Freyr for the cancelled 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. Tutland weaves the two songs together with distinct sections dedicated to each while also artfully intermixing lyrics and themes from both. The result is a joyful celebration of the group's musicality, especially its range and blend. Bass Jared Dutelle and vp Zach Dreese hold down the rhythm section and provide smooth transitions between the two songs and tempos. The single sounds incredible overall, but I would have liked even more articulations and dynamic swells from the group, and the sheen of the post-production was a bit distracting. While agile tenor soloist Lee Conway could have ably sung the entire solo, I was surprisingly unbothered by — and even welcomed — the creative decision to feature most of the group members in short stints during Think About Things.

This solo merry-go-round suits the music video's absurdist dreamscape where Conway’s character becomes initiated into Fundamentally Sound. Conway slowly accumulates pieces of concert attire from various members, ending with the signature suspenders. The charming set-up would be enough to create a good visual, but the execution and video production by Blaise Russo and Borna Riazi make it excellent. Watch for the subtle humorous details like news chyron text or the three-second dance moves in the Wisconsin snow or the well-timed transitions which demonstrate how thoughtfully the group put this video together. The single and video of Colour Vision/Think About Things, clocking in at exactly four minutes, will wow you not only with vocal fireworks but also with humor and heart.

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