Seeb x Julie Bergan – Don’t You Wanna Play?

“That was a delightful surprise, getting something novel after the second chorus.”

Tim: It’s a dance track that’s only 2:18 in length, it’s gonna be one of those frustrating ones that just has two verses, two choruses and nothing else, right?


Tom: Never mind that! What about the menacing cartoon face in the video? Julie Bergan, you have been absolutely insulted by whoever drew that cartoon, it looks like a villain from a 90s cartoon, just a disembodied head bouncing around and yelling threatening questions. It was bad enough that I actually tabbed away, just so I could give the song a fair treatment.

You’re right, though, it does at least go somewhere interesting.

Tim: That was a delightful surprise, getting something novel after the second chorus. Admittedly it was only a couple of extra vocal lines, but it’s better than nothing at all, right? I’m fairly certain that liking this track will hinge squarely on that post-chorus, because there’s a lot of squeaking and squealing there and it pretty much drowns out the rest of the song when you’re thinking back after it’s finished. I’m going in and saying I quite like it – it certainly doesn’t put me off at all, and it’s a nice standout feature.

Tom: Right! I think if you changed the timbre of that synth just a little, it’d be like nails on a chalkboard, but it just about gets away with it.

Tim: In any case, even if you don’t like it the song’s barely two minutes long, there’s hardly time to head off the dancefloor to get another drink even if you wanted to. Huh, ‘dancefloor’. I remember those. Vaguely.

Julie Bergen & Seeb – Kiss Somebody

“Wait, is that it?”

Tim: Julie’s good at pop, Seeb do good dance – a combination’s gotta be worth hearing, right?

Tim: Right. Brief, mind – seems to be quite a “in, get it done, out” vibe, which…

Tom: …let’s be honest, fits the lyrics entirely. Two minutes and 18 seconds, though, is brief in many contexts: but, hey, if you’re trying to bring in the Spotify streaming revenue, that’s the way songs are going right now.

Tim: Often I’d praise that, because no-one likes a tune that hangs around longer than it should, but here we’re onto the second verse in less than a minute, there’s no semblance of any middle eight and barely a nod to even a closing chorus, and it just leaves me feeling a bit ‘wait, is that it?’

Tom: I disagree there: I think that quiet “make out” works as a middle eight, even if it is technically part of the chorus lyrics: and there’s definitely a bigger final chorus in there. I think this song lasts just as long as it needs to: I think if it were longer, we’d both be muttering that the simplistic tune starts to grate. (It started to grate with me on the second time I played it.) But I did, at least, play it a second time.

Tim: Sure, there can be remixes, and I can always press play a second time, but this almost has a whiff of contractual obligation to it, kind of like one of them’s lost a bet. The weirdest thing is that we do get a few ‘will this do?’ tracks, but in every case it’s been the quality of the music rather than the quantity that’s suffered. Here, music’s as good as ever – there’s just very little of it.

Julie Bergan – Crazy Enough

Tim: New one off Julie, and, well, I played it once and it was still in my head 45 minutes later, so that’s got to be a good sign, right?

Tom: Usually, yes, but that was also true of the Fast Food Rockers.

Tom: Well, that’s a heck of an introduction and first verse, isn’t it?

Tim: Starts out as a fairly simple ballad, chorus comes along and turns up the volume a bit, then hits properly and we are BANGING with an absolutely marvellous track.

Tom: Oddly, it’s the chorus that I find unconvincing: it’s unusual to say I like a verse more. I agree that it’s catchy, I’m just not sure I like it.

Tim: Production is great, her vocal is on point, melody is strong and memorable, and all in all I have next to no criticisms about this track whatsoever.

Tom: I’m not quite that enthusiastic, but, sure, it’s not bad.

Tim: I say next to no criticisms: there’s one part I’m not so keen on, which is the ending. If it’d been a quieter ballad throughout that’d work, but as it is, going from a big hefty number suddenly to a single vocal just seems too abrupt. Not sure how to fix it, mind – maybe stick a minor instrument underneath it, or maybe just cut it off entirely, go straight to zero for even more impact? I don’t know, but that aside, it’s absolutely marvellous.

Julie Bergan – U Got Me


Tim: At the risk of turning you overly cynical here, I’ll quote from Julie: “Recently I fell in love for the very first time, and I realised how that actually feels… I’ve always been a person that’s been in control of my feelings, but in this song I let go of that. It’s amazing and terrifying all at the same time. Just like being in love.”


Tim: And I’ll be honest, I was all ready to dislike this from the drippy nature of the intro, but I really really like it.

Tom: Why on earth? It’s not just the intro that’s drippy, it’s the entire first v… hmm. There is something about that chorus, isn’t there?

Tim: Yes, but also the whole instrumentation, and how unusual it is. I can’t, off the top of my head, think of another strings and piano ballad that also includes distorted vocal samples and those synth patches, and yet now I hear it, they seem to work really well together.

And it’s nice, because the song would probably work perfectly fine without them – it wouldn’t be anything special, but it could have been released and as a love ballad would have been entirely adequate. Adding those in, though, and you’ve got a ballad style that’s been updated for the late ’10s, and it sounds great.

Tom: I’m not on board with it to that extent. If I say it’s all a bit too Fisher-Price, does that make sense? A lot of the composition feels like a kid just going plink-plink-plink on a piano. I recognise there’s actually a really talented pianist playing that — it’s not a slight on the talent, just on the melody itself.

But yes, I’ll grant you there’s something about the instrumentation. It’s got a string section, so yes, sure, I’ll agree that it sounds good.

Tim: However sickening you might find the message.

K-391 & Alan Walker feat. Julie Bergan & Seungri – Ignite

“Alan in a room with a floating consciousness influencing him with invisible brainwaves.”

Tim: Easy intros first: Alan (producer) and Julie (female vocals) are both Swedish, and we’ve featured them before; Seungri (male vocals) is Korean, and we haven’t. Now, K391: a Norwegian ‘artist’, and I think it’s best if I quote from his website: “The artist called K-391 conceptualizes your musical getaway in the shape of a unique headset.”

Tom: You what.

Tim: Well, quite. It continues: “Instead of an actual person or group of people, K-391 is an innovative headset that is the living embodiment of its creator, functioning as a portal to another reality. When ignited, K-391 enables your escape from reality, with music as the vehicle and the destination only limited by your imagination.” Sounds a bit wanky, I know, but let’s listen to the music (and watch the demonstrative video) before judging him on that.

Tim: As with many tracks with multiple producers, I have no real idea who’s responsible for what – it’s entirely feasible that the K-391 construct provided the melody and Alan Walker provided the rave music, but equally I could be way, way off and it was Alan in a room with a floating consciousness influencing him with invisible brainwaves.

Tom: Or it could just be marketing junk. I’m going to assume that until proven otherwise.

Tim: Either way, they’ve come up with a perfectly serviceable dance track, with some excellent RAVE portions in it.

Tom: I swear I’ve heard that pre-chorus somewhere before, but yes, I suppose “perfectly serviceable” sums it up. It’s a little bit stock-music in places, but then when you have this many people (and, presumably, one artificial construct) working on a track, perhaps that’s always going to happen.

Tim: And, let’s face it, a video that does a good job of showing off exactly what they mean, and how music can help as a means of escapism. So however silly sounding their introduction is, I won’t begrudge anyone that. Nice work.

Julie Bergan – Younger

“You’re going to die soon.”

Tim: Tom, I hope you’re not feeling particularly old today, because if you are this probably isn’t the song for you.

Tim: No, Julie, we’re not getting any younger. Thank you for pointing that out so vividly.

Tom: And repeatedly.

Tim: Quite. It’s weird, really, because while that can often be put to good use as a ‘get out and do stuff’ lyrical vibe, here (and I’m not sure why) it just seems to be ‘you’re going to die soon’, which I’m not really sure is something I want blasted in my face at however many decibels (regardless of how pretty brilliant it is musically).

Tom: And I’m not sure it’s brilliant musically either: it’s certainly a powerful chorus — and I’m a sucker for a well-used “heeyyyy” sample — but it does go on a bit.

Tim: I don’t know, I don’t get that. Back to the age thing (which apparently I don’t seem to be able to let go of), it might be the surrounding lyrics – aside from ‘scream, shout, fire up this show’ there’s no real incitement, and let’s be honest screaming, shouting, and setting fire to things is exactly what someone’s who’s only got ten minutes to live may well do.

So, you know, lovely music in the chorus, but I’d rather have a happy message next time, if that’s okay?