BY ALEX LYALL
It has been a scorcher week with scorcher music news. As New Zealand reaches some scary hot records, we can at least say that there have been solid tunes from Foals, Vampire Weekend and Soaked Oats with some very uplifting news from Maroon 5 (surprisingly).
Song of the week: Foals – Exits
It’s hard to pinpoint what’s so great about Exits. With low-hanging bass and sparkling keys, it has many of the hallmarks of a dance-track, yet it’s not as simple as that.
Foals certainly have the capacity to make a catchy song to dance to. In 2013, they reached a bigger audience with their hit My Number. The key difference between the two tracks though is the tone. My Number was a smooth, if slightly bitter, take on the much more accessible theme of love. Exits meanwhile, is far less clear and that, in a sense, is what ensures it of such quality. It is a twitchy, almost paranoid, scattershot about almost anything. This describes its lyrical and thematic character but it also paints a picture of its instrumentation. The drumming is rigid and the harmony made by Yannis Philippakis’ vocals is a noticeably uneasy one.
Foals, of course, have never made chirpy music in their lives; Exits however takes it to giddy new heights. A last-minute guitar solo only adds to the eeriness.
Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall
It has been approaching six years since the last Vampire Weekend album, Modern Vampires of the City. It was a sombre album and noticeably more mature than the band’s first two efforts. The six-year gap between then and now re-enforced the idea that they were long over the days of preppy indie-pop and even preppier boat shoes.
So with all that in mind, it’s a little surprising to hear how sprightly Harmony Hall sounds. You can hear the Ivy League in the piano, in the guitar and yes, in the bongos. It’s everywhere.
Harmony Hall feels much less biting than their last album, but hey – is it really such a crime to write with such a spring in the step?
Soaked Oats – Shuggah Doom
Our boys over at Soaked Oats are prepping for their upcoming tour of Australasia with a brand-new song it seems. Luckily for their new fans in Australia, Shuggah Doom is a thoroughly fantastic spoonful of feijoa.
While it brings a lot of joy through its breezy tone, it also offers a lot in terms of its dynamism. Its chorus accelerates the song’s calm riff and binds it with strutting vocals.
Fortunately, Shuggah Doom is also unafraid to get a little weird. Halfway through the track, there’s a neat, if not a little too short, mumbled chant of the song title. It’s a tone that is best summed up by the music video: a summer’s day coloured by some dynamic characters.
Could We Be Getting Sweeeeet Sweeeeet Sweeeet Victoryyy at the Super Bowl?
Late last year, Stephen Hillenburg, the beloved creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, died suddenly at the young age of 57. It was of course, very sad for fans of the show, and some surprisingly tender memes were made about it.
Enter Maroon 5. The band are taking on the coveted Super Bowl halftime show on Monday and will use their privileged position to do something special. Nothing confirmed as of yet, but the band have strongly hinted at performing a stone-cold classic SpongeBob tune.
I’m sure you remember this image. Sweet Victory is the crowning jewel of SpongeBob, and conveniently it is set during a sports event on the show. There had been a widespread petition for the Super Bowl performer to take on the magnum opus. When it happens, it will surely bring a tear to the eye.
And Maroon 5 doing something cool for once? Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.
Although, they also could have used their platform to lend support to the debate around racial injustice in the United States. But this is Adam Levine we are talking about here, let’s not forget.
ALEX LYALL has been obsessed with music since Green Day’s American Idiot. Until then he genuinely thought it was illegal to call anybody that word. Alex studies Law at Canterbury so can confirm that actually, it is perfectly legal to do so.
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