Roberto Carlos Lange’s music as Helado Negro thrives on meeting listeners halfway wherever they may be in life. “Running,” the latest from Lange’s forthcoming sixth album, This Is How You Smile, fits snugly within that calm and comforting mold. Written as a piece of poetry to abate Lange’s feelings of anxiety, the song is a bounding, warmly lit ode that revels in hazy recursiveness and open-ended ideas, like a dream rendered in piano, rolling drums, and Lange’s reposeful croon.
“Running” takes on a circular shape, levitating on its refrains and instrumental cues. But Lange’s verses here are spiked with an illusory, personal sense of nostalgia: “I feel you/In my mind/All the time,” he sings placidly, before admitting, “’Cause I see you/In my hands/Every day/You got me running…” The song abides by Lange’s mission of crafting music that not only addresses intimacy frankly in lyrics but also sounds intimate, especially in its pop-minded yet free-floating structure and cooed melodies. Limned with vibraphone and gently plucked guitar, “Running” is a balmy, nourishing listen, inviting everyone to join step with its easy gait toward a better tomorrow.