Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekly Addiction

For the past couple of weeks I have been listening to the song "This Feeling" by The Seams. Over and over. Seriously 150 times by now, probably more. I can't explain why. There's nothing in the song that would make it possible for me to convince someone of its greatness. I'm just hooked.

Edit: But I'll try to explain, anyway. Down To Earth Approach (the previous band of this singer, Jonathan Lullo) is one of my all-time favorite Bands That I Am Really Into That No One Else I Know Ever Liked At All. They wrote and performed simple, straight-ahead pop rock songs that were, I thought, incredibly fantastic. Over 2 albums there is only 1 song that I don't really like, which is a far better track record than plenty (most?) of the other bands in my iTunes. Over 2 albums they also never wrote a song that reached the 4-minute mark; the vast majority were between the 3- and 3:30-mark, or as some songwriters call it, "The Sweet Spot": the perfect length for a catchy, radio-ready pop song. Of course, DTEA never made it on the radio, which is too bad. I'll be the first to admit that while I always got what the band (Lullo) was saying, grammar and linear narrative was not always his strong suit. I was/am totally o.k. with that, as the impression always made its way through.

Now, this new song from The Seams, his new collaboration with another songwriter: this song is practically perfect, if a little short - but its length also probably helped me play it 150+ times, and still enjoy it! There is a very steady feel provided by the consistent, unchanging drums with open hi-hats; I'm still trying to figure out if it's a live drummer or programming. At the very least the cymbals were recorded separately, Phil Collins-style. The guitars are distorted but smooth, and the lead lines aren't pushed to the front, but blend in and basically just hint at their existence. Though the drums are pulsing throughout, there is a lot of variety among the guitars: sometimes just one plays, sometimes both, sometimes both but no bass, straight strums for the verses but choppy All My Life-style strums for the choruses. And then we hit that magnificent bridge. "It's gonna get easier for me" Lullo sings, as the bass ascends over the choppy chords and subdued lead lines. And while that's all well and good, when the bridge is played again, it has a moment in the third stanza where the bass continues to ascend past the point it did previously, and that's where it all really comes together for me. As I've said before, music occurs in real time, and it's moments like these, however brief, that I enjoy the most. When all the pieces come together, for however brief a moment, and everything makes sense. Anyone who listens to my best songs knows that that's invariably how I structure them, and I think many people can testify to a similar appreciation, if not in this particular song.


Luke said...

You're right, there's little you could say about that song to convince me of its greatness.

Ek said...

I can testify to a similar appreciation, and not in the same song. I think the main difference in our tastes in music is that I consider 6-10 minutes to be "the sweet spot" for a rock song.