"HOLD" by Caleb Peters is Heating Up

An emerging talent in the hyperpop space, 19-year-old Caleb Peters is creating a buzz with music's power players. Experimenting with a genre within a genre, the James Blake-inspired artist is creating a space for himself with only 25 thousand Spotify followers, and untold numbers to come. “HOLD” is the latest earworm melody that will have fans playing it on a loop until they're exhausted from hearing the sickly-sweet tune bounce and break-down for its 2 minutes and 47 seconds of cacophonous glory.  

A big part of Caleb’s sound is reminiscent of “scene music” (think “Pretty Rave Girl” by S3RL and “Shake It” by Metro Station). “HOLD” can be classified as “glitchcore”, and his usage of compressed and distressed vocals joins Caleb with the likes of aldn, Bladee, 2hollis and Cybertrash. Although the lyrical narrative of the track touches on themes of despair and conflict, "HOLD" radiates joy. It’s punchy, high-vibrational and reminiscent of 2000s techno scene in a way that’s warmly familiar. 

“HOLD” starts with a single vocoder-heavy melody and then builds on top of itself to create a satisfying cascade into a front-loaded chorus. The young singer and producer then strips back the production and croons in a raw vocal tone, baring his natural voice for a moment of vulnerability and clarity before building back into the pulsing chaos of the song. 

Caleb commented; “The hook on the song is a vocal idea I recorded and scrapped. I took the vocal, sped it up, and pitched it down and made the new hook out of it, then I produced the song around that. I knew it was catchy so I knew I wanted to emphasize that, but really I was just making what sounded cool to me. I also really love James Blake. I think everything I do is kinda inspired by his self-titled album. I think what I tried to do with hold is make a song that sounded like radio music from my childhood but really modern.”

The song’s dissonance is at times satisfying and at times alarming. The vocals are smashed, the 8-beat drum patterns are confusing, and the tempo is stressful at times, almost like the sounds are on colliding sinusoidal waves. The song could be sync music for a bender in the movie Trainspotting, or a modern-day Misfits. Still, the song’s bold melody and earnest vocals are grabbing and grounding among the massive amounts of noise produced on the track. Most importantly, it’s catchy, memorable and vaguely inspiring (I still have no idea what the lyrics are about, but it’s so unimportant for “Hold”, because it’s being carried entirely by the heart and soul of the melody and beat). Upon every new listen (it's been, realistically, almost 100 listens for me now) new patterns in the track start to make sense, and the complex madness Caleb Peters has created appears to be completely intentional.

Among the critics, Hyperpop is a genre that makes people nervous. The genre is experimental in nature, it’s sound is crunchy and niche, and it’s not quite related to other mainstream genres, yet it is working its way into mainstream pop, rock, techno and rap music. The boldest musicians, who are artists like Caleb Peters, dive into the new frontier with nothing to lose, an egoless attempt at creating unpretentious music. Caleb Peters’ style reflects the fast-paced landscape of generation Z, with their sped-up TikTok songs and borderless ambition to try new things. Among the fans, there are tall figures like Anthony Fantano who have co-singed the young musician.

Caleb is also backed by Connor Treacy who is a superstar manager, A&R and micro-celebrity with credits under Yungblud and Dua Lipa. Caleb has also collaborated with Lil B on "OH MY GOD" and is currently in a publishing deal with Hallwood Media, headed by Neil Jacobson, former President of Geffen Records. Stay in touch with Caleb for the big things that come next and catch more related music on the playlists below. 

Copy Link

Related Articles