Groovy pop song with a great melody and a syncopated beat you can get down to. This song demonstrates that strategically placed gaps and moments of brief silence are an effective tool to make a song interesting, dynamic, and less fatiguing. I generally don’t care too much about lyrics, but I find these a little dumb. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting them, but they seem to be criticizing people who want stuff and assume that it’s born out of a desire to belittle others. Uh, no. Most people want a nice house to live in because they want a nice house to live in. Whatever. I still enjoy the tune.
Three sisters make up the Los Angeles based band HAIM. I like the production on this track. Terrific multi-part harmony. And it’s nice to hear something that isn’t so quantized, auto-tuned, and polished to the point is has no organic life left in it. It sounds a bit you’re listening to them play it live in their living room. I’m digging it!
This is a really good pop tune from a now defunct band from Brooklyn called Little Daylight. They split up and two of their members formed a new band call Me Not You. They’re worth checking out as well. I really like Nikki Taylor’s vocals. She has a pure tone and good articulation. And there’s never ever any vocal fry which is delightful.
I like songs with memorable melodies. I’m also a sucker for a good bass line and well-crafted synth pads. Roosevelt brings all three with a nice mellow electronica track called “Sign.” The only thing I worry about is how a lot of his stuff sounds the same. If I could give Roosevelt any advice, I’d say, “You’re off to a fantastic start. Keep those beautiful melodies coming, but consider expanding your palette of instrumentation and arrangement. “
Below is another tack from Roosevelt called “Shadows.” It’s from his 2019 album “Young Romance.” I like it too, but perhaps that’s because it’s almost the same song. (In the same key no less.)
This is my favorite track from Little Dragon’s 2014 album “Nabuma Rubberband.” It has a soulful vocal perofrmance, touching lyrics, and excellent arrangement and production. Normally, an emotional song like this would be a down-tempo ballad. I like that they took it up-tempo and made it thump. They’re a good band. I recommend checking out their other stuff.
London Grammar is an English indie pop band formed in Nottingham in 2009. The band consists of Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic ‘Dot’ Major. If you’re looking for an entire album full of outstanding songs and top shelf production, I would give it a listen. It sounds just as good today as it did when it came out in 2013.
According to her website, when Joy Oladokun was 10 years old, she saw a video of Tracy Chapman singing and playing guitar and was inspired. She’s really created something beautiful with “Bad Blood.” It’s got a really pleasing blend of guitar, mandolin, piano and bass. Her voice is natural, soulful, full of dynamic range, enhanced by gorgeous multipart harmonies at just the right times, and not stepped on by excessive processing. She also doesn’t have one millisecond of vocal fry which is wonderful! I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.
Of course, when I saw the song’s title was “Bad Blood,” I couldn’t help but think of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. Oladokun’s is 79bpm in the key of A, and Taylor Swift’s is 85bpm in the key of G. Hmmm… that’s only a 6bpm and two semitone difference. I couldn’t help it; I fired up my DJ app and did a quick mashup. Enjoy. 🙂 (I hope Joy is not offended.)