John De Sohn feat. LIAMOO – Forever Young

“I have a feeling it’d be one of those songs where the best bit is the middle eight.”

Tim: Sadly, this isn’t a dance version of the One Direction classic; nonetheless I think you’ll like it.

Tom: You made my eyelid twitch slightly there, Tim. Well done.

Tim: You think I’m joking, but I do listen to that version way more than is probably healthy.

Tim: I’m sure I’ll get bored of moaning about it eventually, but I’m still not enjoying the habit of cutting off the song before a middle eight comes along.

Tom: There’s probably some thoughts to be had there about reducing attention spans, about the requirement of always-on streaming where your audience can’t get bored, about the slow death of the album… or it might just be fashion these days. I can’t say I like it either, though.

Tim: Sure, we shouldn’t necessarily keep doing things just because they’re traditional, but they’ve always provided opportunity for messing around a bit, getting a little bit more creative, or revealing that the target of the song is also a teenage dirtbag. Abandoning that makes the songs that much less interesting, and it is a shame, particularly when the rest of the song is as good as it is.

Tom: Is it really, though? That chorus is basically just going up and down scales. It’s not bad, but I have a feeling it’d be one of those songs where the best bit is the middle eight.

Tim: And yet we’ll never know. I want to hear more, I want to see what else is possible, because the track’s great – it’s just too short.

John de Sohn – Hum With Me

“Hum with me? What?”

Tom: I am very skeptical of that title. Hum with me? What?

Tim: I still think back occasionally to the first track of John’s we featured – might be something to do with the video, I think – and remember how several years later it’s still a very good track, and how he hasn’t actually put out a duff one yet. Try this, for example, with all of its tropical fruity goodness (I’m okay with it now, it’s the summer).

Tom: Well, that’s the first duff one. Isn’t it?

Tim: Still not a duff one, though I would say it’s not one of his best. It’s funny – the post-chorus dance bit should be the biggest part of the song, the one that really wants to make me jump up and start thrashing my limbs around, but there seems to be instead a sudden collapse in momentum.

Tom: Yep. I actually let out an ‘urrrrrgh’ sound out loud. that’s one of the most disappointing choruses I’ve heard. Ruins the whole song for me.

Tim: It goes from flowing notes gradually amping up to a staccato top line, with even the drumbeats taking a while to come back in. The rest of it is great, and it’d all be great if it just kept up the movement – but it doesn’t. It’s ridiculous.

Tom: Also — and I realise this is the point of the song — the humming gets really annoying.

Tim: I don’t know, I don’t find the humming so bad – certainly not bad enough to let the song be ruined – but I don’t think I’d quite classify it as duff.

John De Sohn feat. Sigrid Bernson – Happy Hours

“That got unexpectedly confessional.”

Tim: Big new tune for you from dance producer John, with vocals supplied by, erm, one the dancers on Swedish Strictly.

Tim: “Why wait for the happy ending, when all you need is the happy hours?” An attitude, I suspect, that most people have but would be less than happy to admit to – sod the future, so what if it doesn’t work out for the best, let’s just enjoy right now. That was, in fact, pretty much the attitude that got me through university, and much as my dad keeps telling me not to, basically how I’m currently going with any sort of career.

Tom: Wow. That got unexpectedly confessional.

Tim: It did, didn’t it? Let’s move on, because on top of that: what a banging tune, no?

Tom: The pitch-twisted vocals certainly made me sit up and listen. Big drums, big production — that first build promised a lot, and it even managed to deliver. I’m not sure that chorus, despite the truths it apparently reveals, it quite as good or clever as it wants to be — and even at 3:36 it overstays its welcome a bit.

Tim: I particularly like the big bells that are all over the place, and the vocal layered on top of itself so that by the end we’re almost in Icona Pop territory – I LOVE IT.

Tom: Tighten it up a bit, go somewhere interesting with that middle eight, and you’d have a truly great track.

John de Sohn – You Only Love Me

“When the instrumental hits, who the hell cares about the verses?”

Tim: We featured John about eighteen months ago; I couldn’t remember that, or the song, but then after watching this I noticed one of the related videos, which, and I can’t possibly think why, has stuck with me. Still couldn’t remember the song, though, but here’s his new one.

Tim: Now, I’m fairly sure I’ve heard that first verse before; in fact I spent the entirety of it running through Olly Murs songs in my head, never a pleasant task.

Tom: Bruno Mars for me. I reckon you’re thinking of the “to give me all your love / is all I ever asked” bit from Grenade.

Tim: Oh yes, that’s it. But when the instrumental hits, who the hell cares about the verses if you’ve got that going on?

Tom: Yes, yes, yes. I couldn’t agree more. Everything from that subtle arpeggiated build onwards: it absolutely works.

Tim: Is it brass, or is it just synths? Probably the latter, but damn it sounds good. Sure, vocals are good as well, but really it’s all about that post-chorus. It’s over-and-over-again stuff, and I LOVE it.

Tom: I know that every BANGING CHOON needs to have calm bits in it too, but I can’t help feeling that the verses let this down just a little bit. It is really all about the chorus.

John De Sohn feat. Kristin Amparo – Dance Our Tears Away

“a properly heavy pop-dance track”

Tim: This has been out a while, but it’s just been re-released, for unimportant reasons, and it’s got a video. And, boy, do I love this video (though you can skip to 44 seconds).

Tom: I’ve always wondered why you’d have a chicken character selling fried chicken. “Here, come and eat me!”

Tim: Here is what I love most about the video: there’s the occasional shot in there that shows that whoever’s in the chicken suit is a fairly talented dancer, particularly in the chicken/dog dance-off (THERE’S A CHICKEN/DOG DANCE-OFF), and yet this particular performer has chosen to sod doing any serious stuff, that he might get some sort of credit for, and has instead decided to jump around like a total bellend making people happy. Giving lap-dances, stealing a longboard, having a dance-off. As you do.

Tom: As, indeed, you do. Quite literally, if I remember.

Tim: Pretty much, yes. Never stole a longboard, mind, but I did go some way towards slightly vandalising Vancouver Airport. It’s brilliant. So well done to him, and well done to whoever came up with the idea. I LOVE IT.

Tom: We’re actually here to talk about the music, of course.

Tim: We are, and that’s quite good as well.

Tom: It really is: a properly heavy pop-dance track that’s make me head straight for the floor if I was in a club. There isn’t much more to add to that, other than: more like this, please, both music and video.