Tom: There I was, thinking there was no interesting music to send you: and then I realise we’ve missed Sigrid’s new track. A quick warning: it’s not what you’d expect. There’s a harp.
Tim: Hmm, gosh.
Tom: Once you adjust to the fact that Sigrid — not exactly known for writing love songs — has done a full, proper ballad: well, this is good, isn’t it? There are very few vocalists who have a recognisable vocal quality that lifts them up above session singers. This is both surprisingly traditional and still recognisably Sigrid.
Tim: Can’t disagree with a word of that. I prefer her usual stuff – certainly can’t say I’d like an album of this – but yeah, it’s good ballad.
Tom: Now, I reckon a couple of lines of that beautiful, soaring chorus do owe at least a tip of the hat to the chorus of Lionel Richie’s Hello, but that’s by the by. I still hit ‘play’ a second time.
Tim: Blimey, high praise from you there. And yeah, deserved.
“Very typical Sigrid: a bit shouty, still a good melody, somewhat memorable after the song’s stoped playing.
Tim: This song’s been around as this video a few months now, but the main video came out more recently and that was what got my attention – largely because it’s complete and total garbage, with an irritating narrative about shoots going wrong, planes being delayed, the director pretending to be her, and most annoyingly of all, more interruptions that we’d see even in the dark days of the late noughties.
Tim: Pretty nice chorus, that, by which I mean it’s very typical Sigrid: a bit shouty, still a good melody, somewhat memorable after the song’s stoped playing. The verses are a little less exciting, but worth sticking with because that chorus will come around after not too long.
Tom: And a chorus backing that sounds like it could have been a jingle that BBC Sport used in the 90s. Yes, that’s an obscure and useless reference, but go on, tune your ears to the backing of that chorus and tell me that it doesn’t sound like you’re about to watch a special live broadcast of international athletics.
Tim: Hmmm…maybe? I don’t know, I think it sounds more like a damn good piece of pop personally.
Tom: You’re right, though, it’s a good chorus.
Tim: Actually: having said that about weak verses, I’ve made that excuse a lot of times in the past, so I’m not entirely sure it should be an automatic pass; here it’ll do, though. It’ll do nicely.
Tim: We’ve featured Sigrid a few times now, always positively, and part of me is starting to wonder when she’ll be noticed over here, Zara Larsson style. Here’s her latest.
Tom: I read that title and my first response was “well, that’s nice, I guess”.
Tim: There’s a reason I brought out the Zara Larsson comparison up there – stylistically, we’re very much on the same level. A strong dance pop sound, good vocals, great instrumentation, decent melodies, top production, nice effort put into the lyric video: it’s all there.
Tom: And yet the talky-middle-eight bit is arguably the only bit of the track I paid attention to. How can something with this much production, something that sounds like a good resurrection of the mid-2010s summer-dance style, sound so… generic?
Tim: It’s not a standout track, maybe, but it’s certainly competent, and I can’t help feeling that all it needs is one hungry A&R person to have a mosey. Maybe one day.
Tim: Sigrid says this is her favourite track she’s ever released, and, well, it’s not hard to see why.
Tom: This! Right! You know when you were talking about Great Pop Choruses yesterday? This is the sort of thing I was looking for.
Tim: In an ideal world, of course, we’d lose fourteen seconds of repetition off the end, and this would win Melodifestivalen and storm its way to winning Eurovision six months from now, but this isn’t an ideal world. Admittedly that thought came from me growing a bit tired of said repetition and noticing that it wouldn’t take much to cut this down the three minutes, but still.
Tom: Full marks to the video director, as well — that day-to-night transition’s been done before, but rarely so well. The final sequence, animation and all, is just brilliantly made.
Tim: It really is. The song as a whole isn’t unlike yesterday’s, actually: starts out giving me a slight “oh, this is disappointing”, but then the chorus comes along and blows me right away, because damn, once again that’s a bloody brilliant pop chorus.
Tom: It is, and it’s for the same reason as ever: we’ve heard all these elements before, particularly that chord progression in the chorus, but there’s the right combination of both novelty and familiarity.
Tim: Maybe I’m not so keen on the a cappella part of it, and yeah, we could lose a bit off the end, and also in the video I’d rather the spark fountains went off in time with the music. But that chorus makes up for all of those niggles.
Tim: Brash, rude and a rather messy video: nope, it’s not a presidential news story from 18 months ago, it’s Sigrid’s latest track.
Tim: How often does it happen, Tom? Two people meet each other, but the timing’s not quite right. You’ve just found someone new, or been through a messy breakup, or given birth, or who knows? Sigrid doesn’t care, though, because when she and her new squeeze hit it off, they really hit it off.
Tom: I was expecting this to be a gripe about two people who are trying to have some sort of relationship, but their diaries mean they have to schedule everything a minimum of three weeks in advance. Maybe that’s just a London problem.
Tim: Like I said, it’s brash and it’s rude but it gets the point across, which plenty of nice wo-oahs going on to accompany it.
Tom: There are lot of things that should grate in here — the samples, the repetition, the whoops, and that middle eight. But somehow it doesn’t.
Tim: I don’t really know if I like this or not – I think I do, and I guess I’ve happily listened to it several times already, so that probably counts for something. Call it six out of ten.
Tim: New one off Sigrid, who had that slightly notable Don’t Kill My Vibe a few months back, which we never got round to covering. Here’s her new one.
Tim: Here, I’m confused – I’m in two minds. I can’t decide whether most of the song is fine and the ending is just an overflowing mash up of nonsense, or if the ending finally brings enough of what the song needs to work fully.
Tom: A completely different conclusion from me: blimey, that starts well. That introduction and first verse are absolutely beautiful — moody, promising, well-composed. I’m sure I’ve heard those dark-sounding synths somewhere before, but I don’t mind at all: they’re used very well.
And then there’s a great chorus too! Admittedly by the end it started to lose me — four minutes is perhaps a bit too much — but this worked for me throughout. It’s good!
Tim: Well, a few listens in, that’s what I’m coming round to: there’s a third option where actually most of the song is pretty good, and then while the ending might be a tad messy, it’s overall a perfectly decent tune. In fact actually yes, I think it’s that third option. Nice one.