"TKM" is an oldie but goldie by Boy Pablo. Released on Oct. 5, 2018, at the bottom of his sophomore album Soy Pablo, Boy Pablo uses this song as his rolling credits to say farewell to his listeners after reaching the end of the album.
The magical thing about this song is the outro which takes up about half the length of the song. The slow buildup of sounds produces a thick, rich river of moving melody that fills your ears to the brim with pure music. This song has so much to break down, and below I have a play-by-play of what I hear and what each part means to me as the listener.
The first thing you hear is three distinct notes of a major chord that ring out like the boarding call at the airport, introducing you to the key. Then a pickup drum fill comes in along with a bass slide to start the engine of the song. The reoccurring melody of the song is easy to play and very pleasing to the ear, gliding up and down the scale elegantly, and the drums underneath keep a steady and simple beat that chugs the song along.
Something I like to do while listening to this song is to focus on the drum part when the guitars get repetitive. When you do that, you hear all the cool fills that are being played in the transitions between verses which are overlooked most of the time. Music has so many more layers than most people realize, and sometimes it is really interesting to break down and appreciate those layers instead of just listening to it all blended together.
With his last line, “Oh do you feel the same?” another simple yet elegant drum fill takes us into the outro of the song.
I could listen to the second part of this song for hours. This is slightly crazy because it's literally the same four-bar phrase over and over again. But what makes it so insanely genius is that he starts with a single guitar holding down the melody, and after every loop, he adds a new layer to the song. The first new voice to enter the fray is a counter melody that compliments the main melody perfectly with its simplicity and pattern. Also, it holds out certain notes at the end of the phrases which allows the main melody to still be the main focus during its moving notes. With this already substantial four-voice track going, the bass guitar comes in next with its own variation of the melody. What is cool about this bass line is that it holds a long note in the first half of the phrase and has moving notes in the second half which compliments the counter melody being played by the synth which is doing the opposite.
You can really sense that something has changed when you hear the increased intensity of the drums, and a recurring fill takes us into phase two of the outro. This is where things really get crazy. The first thing you notice is that the guitar sounds different now. Instead of the high octave, crystal clear angel singing the melody, it is now a beautiful, bearded man singing the melody in a tenor octave. Even though it was a simple octave change, this really changed the tone of the song and makes you realize this song is far from over. In fact, it is just picking up.
At this point, I have completely forgotten what the outro sounded like at the beginning, much less what the first part of the song sounded like. All I can think about is the one guitar that Boy Pablo has built up into what I believe to be a musical masterpiece. And with this in mind, the next addition to the symphony does not fail to amaze when the heavens open wide and a choir of angels holding lutes sings the very first counter melody line introduced earlier in the song. With their la la las, I have been transported to the heavens, and I can no longer feel any physical connection to my mortal body. The only thing going through my mind is the richness of the different layers and the fact that you can hear every single individual voice if you concentrate. And once again, what really brings the energy in these loops is the drums. In the beginning, it is slow, with a lot of rests. But at this point, there is a steady beat going with longer fills and cymbal crashes that give the song a semi-beat drop to bang your head to.
After the final voice comes in, everyone gets to play together and enjoy where they have arrived, which is the musical equivalent of Mt. Olympus where all of the most powerful musical gods sit and admire what they have built underneath them. All we can do as mortals, is to worship and appreciate their greatness as the song slowly fades out, almost as a final goodbye to a life-altering adventure.