Boy In Space feat. SHY Martin – On A Prayer

“A duet with a narrative!”

Tim: Speedy one for you today, barely hitting the two and a half minute mark, and it’s a duet with a narrative!

Tim: I still find it weird how rare it is that male/female duets do actually make sense as two people singing to each other rather than at each other.

Tom: Yep. The only example that comes to mind is when you were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. Second-person duets are rare.

Tim: So it’s genuinely really nice to see it happen here — well, sort of, it’s still a bit garbled but I’ll take what I can get. As for the rest of it, all fairly standard.

Tom: “Favour” and “prayer” is definitely a bit of a tortured rhyme that only works in some dialects, but sure. There’s not much that stands out here, but there’s nothing much wrong either.

Tim: Nice music, pleasant voices, and all done and dusted before we get bored. Lovely.

Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Elin Oskal – The Way You Make Me Feel

“It’s joik time!”

Tim: I dd initially hope this’d be a Ronan Keating cover, because that’s a severely underrated track.

Tom: I mean, sure, go for the obscure reference over the obvious one. Mind you, you’re not wrong.

Tim: On the other hand, I’m always up for a new Jon Henrik track.

Tom: It’s joik time!

Tom: Good heavens, that’s a beautiful video. I suppose “put the singers in Scandic nature at golden hour, film them with expensive cameras” is basically a shortcut to having a beautiful video, but still. Some very odd choices in there (odd warp stabilisation, and a shot that appears to be crushed into the wrong aspect ratio), but still.

Tim: Right, well if we were to go with points out of ten, I would dock precisely one point: thing is, we all know he’s all in favour of a truly excellent key change, and the end of the middle eight here would be an absolutely perfect location for one, basically to the extent that it seems wrong that there isn’t one.

Tom: It does have a full fake-ending though, with a brilliant final chorus.

Tim: Having said that, though, that is the one and only thing I would dock a point for, because everything else about it is entirely and totally lovely. He’s brought along what’s pretty much the same melody he uses for his part every time–

Tom: Harsh, but not entirely unfair.

Tim: –given the featured singer some great work to do, stuck some fantastic production over the whole thing and wrapped it all together in a phenomenally pretty video. Almost faultless. Almost.

Saturday Flashback: Alphabeat – 10.000 Nights

“Did someone just find an old 240p .mov file sitting around on a backup drive? How odd.”

Tim: I’m going to see Alphabeat in Copenhagen next weekend, so let’s revisit, with a music video that’ll remind you of the ’00s in a really not good way.

Tom: That was uploaded… this year? Did someone just find an old 240p .mov file sitting around on a backup drive? How odd.

Tim: You know, part of me wants to text 83138 just to see if that offer’s still valid.

Tom: Presumably you also get a free ringtone.

Tim: But other than that: BOY, what a stunning track that is. I’m quite excited, you know.

Dolly Style – Sayonara

“Not as we know them. Not remotely as we know them.”

Tim: It’s Dolly Style, Tom, but but not as we know them. Not remotely as we know them.

Tom: Triplet flow. In a Dolly Style song. What.

Tim: I don’t like it, Tom, I really don’t. Dolly Style are meant to be fun and irreverent and unapologetically unfashionable – not this, which sounds all modern and aiming for the charts and stuff.

Tom: There’s an argument that a band can’t be “meant to be” anything — it’s just what the members want to be — but given that they’re one of the most-constructed of constructed girl groups, then yes, that’s fair.

Tim: Thing is, however much they might aim there (and in fairness to them, it’s not bad, it’s perfectly decent 2019 girl group fare) but I’m really not sure they’ll ever hit the target. They have a market, and, well, it’s us. It’s people who like awful pop, who don’t care that it’s 2019, who still like Hello Hi and Unicorns & Ice Cream. Sure, it might work, and maybe I’ll be proved wrong (though I hope not, as that means we’ll get more of this), but it’s not them. Or at least it really shouldn’t be.

Tom: “Sayonara” is generally used as “goodbye forever”. I’ll leave the obvious jokes to our reader.

Alan Walker – Avem

“So, you know how Alan has a tendency to go a bit, well, over the top?”

Tim: So, you know how Alan has a tendency to go a bit, well, over the top with his videos, or remix competitions. or general appearance of self-importance? Well, this time he’s celebrating kicking off his first arena tour by releasing an endless runner game, and this here is the theme from both that and the tour as a whole.

Tom: I think I might be somehow burned out on Alan Walker’s music? If he does something in his own style, I’m just like “yep, it’s another Alan Walker track”, and if he doesn’t, it’s “uh, this isn’t an Alan Walker track”. Probably more my problem than his, though, because, this… isn’t bad, I guess?

Tim: Well, first up, it’s a lot more enjoyable that that last one we got from the Death Stranding soundtrack, so that’s reassuring. We haven’t had an instrumental one from him in ages, actually, and it’s nice to know he’s still got it: this is a good track, plenty of life, nice melody, and…you know, I’ll be honest: I’m having trouble writing much about it properly.

Tom: I’m not sure there’s all that much to say. It’s a soundtrack.

Tim: Thing is, I’ve just downloaded the game, and it’s basically entirely okay. Looks pretty, challenging but achievable mechanic (I recommend upping the sensitivity of the controls), and not particularly demanding of your cash.

Tom: The fact you even have to say that last bit is an awful indictment of mobile games.

Tim: Having played it for ten minutes, though, with Avem playing near constantly, I’m now both entirely done with the track and utterly obsessed by it. Make of that what you will.

Saturday Flashback: Louise Dubiel – Rejs Dig Op

“I cannot for the life of me understand why we didn’t feature it, because it’s wonderful.”

Tim: For no reason at all other than that it’s on my list of ones we didn’t have room for at the time, here’s a song that was deemed not good enough to represent Denmark at Eurovision in 2013 (for context, that’s the year Emmelie de Forest ended up winning it).

Tim: And I cannot for the life of me understand why we didn’t feature it, because it’s wonderful.

Tom: That’s a brilliant melody in the introduction and chorus — and the final chorus in particular — but I’m not sure about the rest of it. What tips it over to wonderful for you?

Tim: Admittedly I didn’t entirely think that until I checked the lyrics, but it’s basically “who gives a shit if you get knocked down, just get up and keep fighting” – those two main chorus lines are “You have to dance in the rain and never get enough; you must shine in the dark and always rise again”. And that message, with those military drumbeats, those swooshing lights and that wonderful key change are entirely fantastic.

Tom: And it would have been translated into English for the contest, almost certainly. You’re right: in another year, this might have been a serious contender. I mean, apart from the key change. I love it, but it’s pretty clear at this point that Europe doesn’t.

Tim: Obviously, in hindsight it’s clear the Danish populace made the right call, but this is still a blinder.

Clara Mae – Unmiss You

“This song has, comfortably, the most awful lyrics we’ve featured in a long time.”

Tim: This song has, comfortably, the most awful lyrics we’ve featured in a long time, and I’m assuming you’re already annoyed by them.

Tom: And comparing them to Fletcher’s Undrunk, which I could have sworn we talked about at some point, but apparently not.

Tim: However, I would like you to (at least) try to let them go and just listen to the music.

Tim: Okay so here’s the thing: that’s a good chorus. The verses, sure, they’re fine enough, but the backing and energy that comes along in the chorus really could elevate this song to a higher level.

Tom: Except?

Tim: Except, well, there’s that ‘could’ there, rather than ‘does’. Because GOD, those lyrics. I know normally I’m able to ignore things like this, and that of the two of us I’m less likely to find them annoying, but DAMMIT, they’re just atrocious, and also so pervasive.

Tom: I was almost disagreeing with you — almost — until the words “a hundred of reasons”.

Tim: If it was just one line in the chorus, I might have a better shot. But no – it’s every single line there, and I just can’t get past it. And that really, really sucks. Because it should be a good chorus.

Stefan – I Feel Nothing

“I don’t like it, but I get why you do.”

Tim: Tom, I sort of want to apologise in advance here, because I’ve a feeling your reaction will be roughly along the lines of “I don’t like it, but I get why you do.”

Tom: “I feel nothing” is how I react to a lot of the music that’s here, so that’d be better than nothing.

Tim: Have a listen anyway.

Tom: I don’t like it, but I get why you do.

Tim: Absolutely beautiful, I’d say. Heartfelt emotional vocal, a delightful backing that starts quiet but gradually builds up to something marvellous at the end: as a ballad, this is entirely wonderful. Your thoughts?

Tom: You called it: I get there’s a lot to like in theory here, but I… well, yeah, I feel nothing.

Saturday Flashback: Da Buzz – Let Me Love You Tonight

“Obscure Swedish 2002 eurodance!”

Tom: Obscure Swedish 2002 eurodance!

Tim: Hooray!

Tom: No, really, that’s all I’ve got, I just stumbled across it and it’s been stuck in my head for a couple of days now.

Tim: Nothing wrong with that, it’s a pretty good track. And incidentally, I’ve just looked at their Wikipedia page, and found the most outstanding sentence: “In June 2011, one of the Karlstad transit buses was named after the group.” And what greater an honour can there be than that?

Lance & Litton – Sunshine

Tim: Swedish dance duo whose first release we completely missed; here’s their second.

Tom: This is really weird to say, but I’ve never had such an intense dislike for the verses of a song in a long time.

Tim: Wait, seriously?

Tom: It wasn’t my usual “meh” reaction: I just actively disliked it and I cannot, for the life of me, explain why. Which is a shame, because the post-chorus is joyful, and even the chorus perked me up a bit.

Tim: I really don’t get that, about the verses. Sure, they have a ‘this’ll do’ quality to them, but for me the only really negative is the one rather disappointing ‘oh’ moment, at a fairly important point: the first time the vocal chorus hit. I wanted something a bit speedier, and wasn’t prepared for the longer vocal notes. HOWEVER, the rest of it goes solidly between ‘this’ll do’ (aforementioned verses) and ‘OH YES THIS WILL VERY MUCH DO’ (post-chorus breakdown, where I immediately started clapping my hands in time to the beat).

Tom: Yep, I can see why you were disappointed there: it’s an odd choice to go into what’s basically half-time for the chorus. But I think it does work.

Tim: There are other highlights: for starters, I was delighted by the presence of a middle eight, as by now I’ve been trained not to expect one. Also, for the second chorus and with repeated listenings, that initial let down doesn’t give me any problems – once you’re expecting it, you’re right, it works, and it’s great. WHAT A TUNE.