“A good approximation of a CHVRCHES song in style, and I have no problems at all with that.”
Tom: After yesterday, when we talked about the Weeknd’s style, I’ve started noticing that boots-and-cats synth-percussion drumbeat everywhere, as if someone reset the pop industry’s synthesisers back to “80s default”. Is that just me being more aware of it, or has this suddenly come back into fashion?
Tom: The trouble is, it’s also all I can remember from this track.
Tim: Hmm. Bit harsh, I’d say, as there’s a decent chorus in there, and I’d be almost certain there’s a bit of confirmation bias going on there, or at least pulling of focus. This is, to me, a good approximation of a CHVRCHES song in style, and I have no problems at all with that.
Tom: There’s nothing wrong with it! It’s a reasonable pop song. The chorus melody, now I listen back to it, is really decent. But I was distracted by trying to work out which balcony in Kings Cross she’s filming on, and honestly, that’s not a great sign, is it?
Tim: No, admittedly that isn’t. Mind you, Dagny’s the sort of artist where every time I see the name I think “surely they should be getting big over here right now”, so hopefully that won’t be too long.
“This is a better Carly Rae Jepsen track than the new Carly Rae Jepsen track we talked about earlier this week.”
Tom: We’ve talked about her a few times, including Love You Like That — which we thought was a bit like Taylor Swift’s “Out Of The Woods”, and which then got turned into Katy Perry’s “Never Really Over”. (Properly, as well; Dagny’s credited as songwriter on the latter.)
Tim: Then let’s hear her newest, shall we?
Tim: Ooh, that’s very nice, that is – proper energetic pop music, of which there’s a surprising dearth at the moment.
Tom: This is a better Carly Rae Jepsen track than the new Carly Rae Jepsen track we talked about earlier this week. Seriously, wouldn’t this fit right in on… okay, maybe not Emotion, not the Emotion B-sides album?
Tim: Do you know, it entirely would – and it wouldn’t sound out of place on Taylor Swift’s 1989, either, and that’s high praise.
Tom: It’s not quite a lead single — not yet — but it’s so nearly there.
Tim: Dagny has yet to disappoint us; pleasingly, I’m fairly sure this won’t either.
Tom: I was fairly sure, from the introduction, that I was going to disagree and say I didn’t like it: but, no, this isn’t bad at all.
Tim: It started off, I thought “ooh, this is nice and CHVRCHES-y”, and then it continued in that vein; I was hoping I could do a fun thing about it being exactly the same, just the opposite side of the Shetland Islands, but it turns out that Dagny lives in Tromsø, so according to Google Maps CHVRCHES are a full 300 miles closer to even Oslo, and that’s driving the long way round. But I digress, considerably.
Tim: It’s good music, very well produced electropop, and while I wouldn’t mind a bit of growth between the second chorus and the final section, I’m quite happy with it.
Tom: I think that’s true all through the song: it’s a good track, but it is almost the same throughout. There’s a lot of parts here that vaguely remind me of other songs, but I just can’t remember exactly what.
Tim: Yeah – I would like to know why that “ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-a-aah-a-aaaa” is so familiar…
Tim: Question: if you’re dropping f-bombs fairly prominently in the chorus, and making no attempt to hide them, is there actually any point whatsoever in censoring them in the lyric video? Seeb has chosen to find out.
Tim: Sure, you could argue that it means you don’t have to slightly redo it if you ever wanted to put out a version with edited audio, but why not just do that to start with?
Tom: I’d say ‘money’, but honestly, it doesn’t really doesn’t take much effort by a motion graphics designer to change out one word. Although, they would be changing it in a lot of places.
Tim: It’s a pity, really, because that line could work perfectly with a ‘hell’ or a ‘damn’ or even just using a longer ‘I’ sound, but oh well, it’s done now. Nice dance track, mind, despite that, with a memorable hook and, I suppose, lyrics. Good production, good vocals – all well done, really.
Tom: Yep, it’s a competent middle-of-the-playlist dance track that does exactly what it’s supposed to. Not spectacular, but not terrible either.
Tim: Would you like to hear a new version of Taylor Swift’s tragically under-performing Out of the Woods from Norway’s Dagny?
Tom: Is this a good time to tell my really long joke about Taylor Swift pegging the actor who plays Ian Beale? No? Okay, fine, but the punchline was “are we out of the Woodyatt”, just so you know.
Tim: Probably for the best you didn’t tell the whole thing, then. Here’s the song.
Tim: Good, isn’t it? It’s the chorus that really put me in mind of that similarity within it’s chanted beat by beat repetition of the title and main line, and it works just as well here as it did back then, providing a good hook to dangle the rest of the song around.
Tom: It reminds me of three or four other songs I can’t place, but I think that’s because it’s borrowing — rather than outright ripping off — a lot of good style points. Full marks for that final chorus, too, even if it is a bit, well, out of the woods.
Tim: It does slightly suffer from the comparison, because there’s very little pop music that can match up to 1989-era Taylor, but it’s still a great listen. Lovely.
Tom: Our reader, Luca, sends in just-released gem — his words — from Norway. Luca also calls it a “climactic banger of titanic ambitions”, which is both a bold claim and an accurate descriptor of your mum.
Tim: Woah, what? Well that came out of the blue, but, erm, okay.
Tim: Ooh, I do like a song that comes in strong.
Tom: That is a pretty good chorus, though, isn’t it?
Tim: Certainly is – I will take that climactic banger, thank you.
Tom: It’s a chorus that sounds like it’d fit in perfectly as uplifting music for the end of a film. That chorus should kick in just in time the final sweeping track backwards, the big dramatic sweeping shot that leaves the main characters looking out onto an uncertain, but promising, future.
Tim: Yes – yeah, that fits. Lyrics would need a rewrite, but musically that sounds about right.
Tom: I know, that’s a specific description, but it’s rare for me to get such a strong image from a song. I think that’s a good sign.