Annie – American Cars

“There is something about that chorus, isn’t there?”

Tim: Annie, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a Norwegian who did electropop and synth pop from the early 90s and then just stopped about five years ago, and everyone got very disappointed and basically gave up hope. But NOW she’s back, with a whole album co-produced with Stefan off The Sound of Arrows announced for September and this as the lead single, HURRAH.

Tom: Right, so as usual: you’ll love it, and I’ll be put off my how slow and ethereal it is.

Tim: Perhaps, because, well, if you thought dreampop was dreamy before, brace yourself.

Tom: Huh. So here’s the thing: I was all set to really dislike that from the intro, because it is just the epitome of every retro “80s recreated with modern tech” track out there… but there is something about that chorus, isn’t there?

Tim: There is, yes – see, I had an interesting thought journey along that: started out with “ooh, yes, this is lovely and absolutely what I want right now”, and “oh this chorus is just DELIGHTFUL” then “wait, have they just stuck some vocals on the Stranger Things theme for the verse” and finally, at the two minute mark, “ah, nope, this is exactly the reason I pay £7.99 a month for a streaming service and quite a bit more on overpriced merch”.

Tom: Okay, stick with me here. That ‘Stranger Things’ reference, and the repetitive four-note rising ostinato: change the instruments up a bit, and it’s basically the theme tune to Wycliffe. Yes, I’m referencing an obscure mid-nineties ITV detective drama, yes, I know it’s not strictly relevant, but I think it’s interesting how the elements of a composition can be the same across very different genres. No? Fine, suit yourself.

Tim: Not a theme tune (or indeed a programme) that I’d ever heard of before, but you’re absolutely not wrong there, it is similar – to be honest, though, it’s difficult to pull off a fast up and down synth melody that doesn’t sound like it rips off Stranger Things (or indeed Wycliffe). But anyway, everything after that first two minutes is just pure Sound of Arrows, and (believe it or not) I actually quite like that! So WELL DONE and THANK YOU and WELCOME BACK. Oh, and also, speaking of overpriced merch it seems that every artist under the sun has face masks out right now, can we have Sound of Arrows ones as well please? THANKS.

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