“Alien Eyes,” the lead single from Norty’s full-length debut The Years Are Fleeting, begins as a distant echo, a stuttering shimmer of a guitar figure piling on the distorted reverb as it crawls down a long hallway. Listen with your eyes closed and you’d expect to get a face full of indie rock. Instead the Young Heavy Souls producer slams you straight into a glitch-pop drop of sliced-up horns and thick bass. From there, it’s round after round of tasty fusions and juxtapositions on an incisive track masquerading as big-tent dance pop.
Though the message creeps out over the course of multiple listens, “Alien Eyes” is Norty’s attempt to spell out a flavorful missive on the snake-like hypocrisy of mankind’s fixation on profit over people; in his words, calling out the fact that “some humans are just bad at being human.” At its core, however, the track can’t escape the upbeat flair of Norty’s production. Rather than break it down over spare, moody instrumentation, he packs in crunchy bumps to bop those blues away, making it less a call to arms than a nagging voice of political consciousness under the strobing concert lights on the dancefloor.
Still, no matter how high Norty turns up the bass or how hard he drops the beat (and he truly does), the message isn’t far behind. “Alien Eyes” keeps it human by moving your body with playful energy, something worth keeping around as the heat, and the lizard-person madness, ratchets up this summer.