Just a perfect, perfect pop song. Makes you wanna dance and groove along, but at the same time it's soo unbelievably sweet and a just a liitle melancholy. It starts with a drum beat, and then there's this bass-and-drums groove for a few seconds. Then a little sweet electric piano line enters, just before the voice begins singing the melody: "I'm drinking stars up in the sky, you know where you are / I'm driving cars around your house, it seems so fun". When it's time for the chorus ("So listen to my bubble go pop / I'm coming in, I'm coming over the top"), the main voice sings over a backing vocal doing an "ooh" harmony, and then there's absolute genius backing vocal, where the word "pop" becomes "papapapa". After that, a little guitar riff/solo, along with a very cool electric piano line. Then it just repeats everything all over again one more time, for infinite happiness. The time for a middle break has arrived. A new funky bass groove with lots of different "papapa"s harmonizing together. Now, go back to the first bass-and-drums groove, with a jazzy, relaxed guitar solo, and then it's just grooves and grooves and heavenly harmonies, "Blowin' bubbles".
great piece of whiskey-soaked break up pop from our friend lee, here. it's basically driven by guitar and harpsichord, but a warbling hammond organ pops up in the end. really dig the balance between lee's weary voice and the backup singers' purring wordless hums here.
If you ask any industry bigwig right now what’s gonna be the next big thing, they’ll all say the same, “Sea Shanties”. Every one of them. You think I’m joking? Well listen up ignorami because I’m not.
You might have noticed ripples rolling in from the Indie scene on both shores of the Atlantic, as The Coral, The Decemberists, and others, have romanticised the plight of the seafarer, but now Shanties are due to hit the mainstream, and hard. As I write this Richard X is in his London studio working on the final mix of ‘Salty Seadog’, an explosive slab of “neo-shant’ purred over seductively by Rachel Stevens. Cathy Dennis, my old pal from our days changing skates at Norwich Rollerama, told me yesterday that she’s just sold three ‘Shanties’ to some “top name artists”. For legal reasons I’m not allowed to say who, but let me assure you these are white hot names. The kind of names that kids get on their knees and pray to. So, you see, Shanties are big business. I’ve also heard that Jennifer Lopez, J-Lo, ‘Loopy’ Lopez, Jell-O, whatever, never one to miss a passing fad, is rumoured to be changing her name to One-Eyed-Jenny. Make of that what you will, might just be street talk. Now what concerns me is the forthcoming release from Britney Spears. This you may have heard about. It’s called, ‘Wingin’, Blingin’ and Not!’, and it’s a ‘fresh’ adaptation of the 19th century poem/song, ‘Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod’ by Eugene Field. I know this song from the glorious version by Cass Elliot’s pre-fame folk trio, The Big Three. It’s less a shanty than a bewitching lullaby, intended to lull a child into restful slumber, as Winkin’ and gang sailed not in rusting trawler through the bleak North Sea, but, “in a wooden shoe/off on a river of crystal light/into a sea of dew.” And it contains some of the most hauntingly beautiful oooh ooohs and aahh ahhs ever waxed, as Tim Rose and Mama Cass harmonise the rolling waves of slumber. Nevertheless because of it’s sea-faring theme (“we’re going fishing for the herring fish/that live in the beautiful sea”), it’ll probably get caught up in the nets of the inevitable ‘Sea Shanty Fever’ cash-in compilations that will soon litter our shores like syringes and floor tiling. I wanted to draw your attention to it now before it gets beaten blue and bloody by the Spears, and rattles out over supermarket tannoys the world over.
from The Big Three
15 Apr 05 ·n-jeff: Obviously Mr Scruff is well ahead of the field then, with three songs about Fish (ing) on his first LP... 15 Apr 05 ·tonyharte: Yo ho ho, me hearties. Well I never. Thanks for the tip/warning Rum (where's the bum and baccy?)
I predict that this year (in the UK) will belong to The Coral. 16 Apr 05 ·konsu: Um... what about Weens album "The Mollusk"? That was shit was shanty-city! So, whats next? Weavers laments??
Up fer listening to some snotty American teens brag about how utterly monged they all are?!... Lord, just writing that there sentence makes me want to clutch my head and groan… “well exactly, so how does no strike you?” Fair, it strikes me as fair. But hear me out. You see, these drug-addled Wailers set their braggings against a backdrop of the crankiest, mankiest rock’n’roll the wrong side of the Sonics. “Is that the tape disintegrating?”, “Do I hear the wallpaper of heaven being torn down?” No, you don’t, that’s the music. “And is that the ‘Satisfaction’ riff honk-honking like an ocean liner in a storm?” Aye yes captain, like the truest garage rockers they filch their riffs from the big leaguers (listen to that other meisterwerk ‘Psychotic Reaction’). It’s a genre that favours execution over original ideas, and man the Wailers execute that ‘Satisfaction’ riff alright. Yes, sir, by the end there’s black smoke billowing out like burning plastic. “…And I can hear a…a wicked organ swirling around in the cacophony. It sounds really big, like it was recorded in a church, you know like that Belle & Sebastian track… ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’?” …well, yeah… I suppose…
“Still these lyrics though…? I cannae bear kids, ANYONE, recounting their drunken, drugged, whatever, adventures out on the town. ESPECIALLY when every other word is ‘crazy’. I thought psychedelic drugs were meant to expand your mind?” Well, yeah, I agree, but like when you listen to any other drug-addled teen, your brain just switches them off after a time, “out runnin’ around/seein’ every crazy sight… ma na na na ma na ma ma!” At least until the chorus, when the kids notice you drifting, and jolt your slumbering brain by bellowing in your ear, “HEY! We gotta be… OUT OF OUR TREE!!! OUT OF OUR TREE!”… Yes, yes, it certainly sounds like it.
25 Apr 05 ·n-jeff: I really, really must get this. Just on this recommendation. 06 Oct 05 ·Gnasher: Yeah, this really is great.
I'd think of something more imaginative to say but I just pulled my brain out through my ears and beat myself about the head with it.