Tim: It’s almost sad when a new release from your previous favourite brings a sense of trepidation rather than excitement; this got released last Friday.
Tom: I remember when you used to send every Galantis track with enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I think Satisfied is a great track — it grew on me despite those initial reservations — but yeah, they’ve been suffering from regression to the mean recently.
Tim: It’s good! Like, really really good!
Tom: That’s because that millennial-whoop chorus is straight from Owl City’s Good Time!
Tim: Oh, yes, so it is. That maybe plays a part in it, then.
Tom: As ever, I don’t think it’s deliberate, but it’s all I can think about while I’m listening.
Tim: I’m guessing it’s just Ryan from OneRepublic and the rest is all Galantis, and those drumbeats and massive brass melody all work together so well, along with all the twiddling samples in the backing.
Tom: It goes on for one chorus too long, but, sure, it’ll… it’ll do, I guess.
Tim: I don’t know if it’s just relief, but I’m fairly sure this is their best work since Love On Me, and I’m so happy about that, I really am.
“Still a largely dull track, but there are significant improvements”
Tom: I’m assuming you know the original Too Good At Goodbyes, Tim.
Tim: Correct. As with much of Sam Smith’s output, it is dull, tedious, insipid garbage, albeit slightly redeemed by the backing choir in the chorus and middle eight.
Tom: In which case, you should get ready for the biggest case of pop mood-whiplash you’ve had in a while. Because Sam Smith’s sad, slow, soppy song is about to become a BANGER complete with a euphoric build that sounds like a washing machine spinning up.
Tim: That…that is an unusual yet entirely correct description of that euphoric build.
Tim: It’s still a largely dull track, but there are significant improvements – not least, chopping over a minute off the runtime.
Tom: Here’s the thing: I have no idea how, but I’d managed to miss the original Too Good At Goodbyes entirely. I just, somehow, never heard it. So when I heard this on the radio somewhere, I remembered the name of the track, searched for it later, and found the original instead of this. It was one of the most disappointing listens I’ve ever had.
Tim: Whereas this is…well, still one of the most disappointing Galantis listens I’ve ever had, but it’s still better than the original.
Tim: This slipped me by when it came out last month because it was the Friday before Christmas, but here it is – Galantis’s latest, featuring the same singer who was on Alan Walker’s latest track as well. Coincidence? Very probably.
Tom: That’s the best introduction and first verse I’ve heard in a while. Full marks for having the confidence to use just a vocoded acapella: with a bad melody that would have completely killed the track. But it’s good! I like it! That’s unusual!
Tim: So, Galantis haven’t had a proper hit since Love On Me, the brilliant track that came out…a little over two years ago. I would argue that’s a shame, but then I think back and much as I typically very much enjoy their output – it’s not exactly memorable, is it? I think this kind of demonstrates why.
Tom: That’s harsh but not entirely untrue. I really did enjoy this track, almost as much as I still enjoy Satisfied. But I think it’s fair to say that given both tracks are about two and a half minutes, Galantis knows exactly how long people will want to listen to their tracks for. That repetition of “San Francisco” got old on a second listen. But hey, at least I gave it a second listen.
Tim: It’s okay, it’s standard as Galantis fare seems to go nowadays…but it’s not anything really special. I miss that, really, I do.
“This is a good track apart from the lyrics and the video.”
Tim: Not entirely sure how you’ll feel about this video, Tom (although that might be a lie, because I’m almost certain I know how you’ll feel), but bear in mind it’s only 2 minutes and 48 seconds long.
Tom: This is a good track apart from the lyrics and the video.
Tim: Part of me wants to brush my hands together, smile, turn and walk away and just let you loose on this one with the knowledge that my work here is done, really, but the other part of me wants to argue passionately in favour of this. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of sending a disturbingly anthropomorphised heart to guilt trip your other half into not giving up on you while you’re away, and to grow large and bright when you’re getting ready to see her again? It’s just SO CUTE.
Tom: Mm. I’m not going to rise to the bait, except to say that: songs with references like this date incredibly quickly, and if you have to deliberately mis-emphasise a word to fit the rhyme scheme, perhaps you should just write the song about something else.
Tim: Oh. Can’t deny I’m a tad disappointed, but you’re not wrong.
Tim: Track 2, and I’m not really sure who MAX is or why he deserves the capital letters – he had a track out last year featuring a guy with no capital letters, though, so maybe that explains it.
Tim: It starts out different, more of a funky style…and I’m not sure where I stand. Compared to yesterday, it is both better and worse. Yesterday was, like I said then, very much a trademark Galantis track. There wasn’t much new or entirely interesting there, but it would happily sit on a Galantis Essentials playlist and not sound even slightly out of place.
Tom: Oh, this is so much better than yesterday’s track. I think this is where Galantis really shine — as producers and collaborators, able to elevate someone else’s track and, in turn, to be elevated.
Tim: Well, you’re not wrong in that that chorus elevates it, because I really couldn’t take a song just like the verses. This one takes a few risks, in the sense that it’s different, but also the same – the chorus is your standard stuff, the weird vocal and the decent beats. But as for that verse, hmm.
Tom: It’s great! As is the pre-chorus, but the verse really shined for me. You know why? I was already so far into it by the end of the first verse that I instinctively did a double-clap — at exactly the point where the song puts a double-clap sample in. I was sold. This, to sort-of-quote the KLF, has a Groove.
Tim: Maaaaybe, but now that a large part of the world has moved on from Uptown Funk, the songs that most come to mind for me are Sweden’s dire Eurovision entries of the past couple of years, and this year only three countries came below them in the televote. With it also heading toward the current trend of no middle eight or final chorus to cut away from those…I’m really not all that keen.
Tom: To be fair, you’re right there. For the first time in a very long while, I actually think the track should be longer. It needs a middle eight, it needs a Big Final Chorus. And, despite my initial enthusiasm, I can’t remember the chorus after one listen. That’s not a great sign.
Tim: It’s a disappointing song, and I’m sad about that.
Tom: It’s only disappointing at the end for me. Give me a remix with a Big Chorus and I will be 100% behind this.
Tim: Tonight, Tom, is the final of Love Island, and recently the winner of last year’s Swedish version of that brought out a single, so it’d kind of make sense to feature it. However, it is entirely shit, so I won’t force it on you.
Tom: I can’t work out if I’ve just had my expectations raised and then let down, or literally the exact opposite.
Tim: Instead, let’s hear the new track from Galantis – well, one of them, as apparently even in the streaming video age the double A-side is still a thing, or at least EPs of two songs are. Here’s the first.
Tim: I’ll be honest, it’s tricky for me to review Galantis tracks, because, aside from a short period around the latter half of 2016, as far as I’m concerned they’ve barely put a foot wrong since the launch of Runaway (You & I) back in 2014, they do a phenomenal live show and basically they’re brilliant.
Tim: Right here, we have a track that is very much a trademark Galantis track. It has a decent vocal, it has steel drums, it has the painting on the video with backstage tour footage. It’s a song about success, about making it, about being in a good place despite previous assumptions. It’s a good song, and I’m happy about that.
Tom: “It’s a good song.” “A trademark Galantis track.” I agree: but from you, that’s a genuine endorsement, whereas with me, it’s damning with faint praise.
Tim: Two albums down, and here’s some new music, accompanied by a video with a good few “woah, what did they just do?” moments.
Tim: Personally I feel that parkour peaked with that cold open from The Office, but it’s nice that it’s popping up every now and again just so the lazy amongst us can look at and think “that looks cool, I kind of wish I had the energy to do that”. But that’s not what we here to discuss – the music is. And fantastically, it’s still a good track!
Tom: It is! It’s catchy! It’s well-composed! It’s not dull!
Tim: Tell Me You Love Me was a nice return to form after a couple of iffy bits, and this seems to indicate we’re right back on top. We’ve all the energy that seemed missing from True Feeling, and a properly enjoyable chorus unlike what we had in Girls On Boys.
Tom: To be fair, there doesn’t actually appear to be anything other than a chorus anywhere. I know that’s Galantis’s shtick, but I do wonder if this’ll tire very quickly if there isn’t something to temper it a little. I was simultaneously enjoying it and wanting something different by the end.
Tim: All in all: very pleased with this, and I’m properly happy to be able to call myself a Proper Fan.
Tim: Every time I press play on a new Galantis track, I pray to all the gods I don’t believe in that Galantis will produce another Love On Me, and that my faith in them will be restored…
Tim: And GLORY BE it’s like an early Christmas present, because this is so much more enjoyable for me than any of their other recent tracks.
Tom: That’s a guarded compliment — I agree, but I’d love to hear why you phrased it quite like that.
Tim: It’s not as good as Love On Me, obviously – I’d rather a less disjointed instrumental chorus, and I’m still not satisfied with any track that skimps on a middle eight and a closing chorus – but it’s close enough to make me happy, very happy.
Tom: The chorus parts where it goes to complete silence are a bit unpleasant to listen to, but yes: this sounds like Galantis are back on form.
Tim: To be honest, parts of it are so close to Love On Me that I kind of suspect a copy and paste job, but never mind – like I said, I’m happy, and reassured.
“Everything’s great about this apart from the chorus.”
Tom: “We been waiting to throw you this curve ball!”, write Galantis excitedly. “It’s a style of song-writing that’s been a part of Galantis from the start but we never really had the chance to show you.”
Tim: It normally gets me nervous when bands I like say that; on the other hand, they’ve not exactly been knocking it out of the park recently, so I’m open minded.
Tom: (A warning for flashing images in the video.)
Tom: Here’s a reversal of the usual status quo around here: I think everything’s great about this apart from the chorus.
Tim: While I think it’s time to realise that Galantis are not the dance music saviours I previously believed them to be 🙁
Tom: The intro, the verses, the build, the vocals, everything about this has so much promise — but then it leads into a bassless, repetitive instrumental chorus hook, complete with that irritating precussion that sounds like someone’s failing to light a gas hob.
Tim: Haha, yes, I hear the one you mean. I’m the same – sounds great, right up through the opening, verse, pre-chorus, but then it’s not really good at all.
Tom: I get that instrumental choruses are a thing these days, but this just doesn’t work for me.
Tim: I can’t help wondering what’s so ‘curve ball’ about it – it doesn’t sound particularly different from their other recent disappointments. OH GALANTIS, WHY MUST YOU ABANDON ME SO?
Tim: Galantis here using the appalling cheap and lazy tactic of using tour footage for their music video, but just this once I don’t care, because (a) the London leg of their current tour was one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve been to, so this is lovely to watch and (b) they have at least done effects and stuff with it.
Tom: And every “old VHS” off-the-shelf filter in the book. That’ll get old at some point, but not yet.
Tim: Another thing the video did, the first time I heard it at least, was help me not notice the fact that, actually, there’s not a whole lot going on in the song, is there?
Tom: There never is, but at least they usually do “not a whole lot” with way more enthusiasm than this.
Tim: There’s a big ramp up at the end of each vocal chorus, but then the big drums drop out and leave us with the steel drums and marimba beats.
Tom: Also, and I realise this is a really specific complaint, that static-whoosh effect they’re using instead of the stock “euphoric build” effects is difficult to listen to.
Tim: Oh, that is specific, and I see where you’re coming from, but that doesn’t bother be so much.
Tom: I mean, sure, the rest of the instrumentation’s good, I guess.
Tim: Yeah, and I think “it’s good, I guess” kind of sums up the track. I certainly prefer the style to many of the more recent tracks, but it doesn’t change the fact that the song doesn’t actually do much. And that’s a big shame.