#3 It’s Too Late, I’m Awake Already – Jack R Rielly
Beautiful and melancholy, It’s Too Late I’m Awake Already is minimal in its construction, which lends to the heart wrenching truth behind the lyrics. The repeating piano note reminds me of Chopin’s raindrop prelude, which is one of my favourite pieces of music, so bonus points there. Reilly pulls off the simplicity that this song needs, but adds a few tiny little tricks here and there, like the second piano line in the second verse which just gives that tiny sense of development, and the fact that the second vocal line is only once or twice harmonic but sometimes out of sync, which makes it sound raw and sincere. This is one of those songs that makes you want to curl up under a blanket and cry. It’s just a perfect encapsulation of that simple yet overwhelming sadness that the lyrics tell of. Jack R Reilly has a real natural talent for songwriting.
#2 Take Me Back by GL
The only way this song could get more 80s is if it were actually written in the 80s. Everything is synthesized except the vocals, which layer and layer over the course of the song. The lyrics are pretty simple and don’t really mean much but that’s part and parcel of the 80s pop style. It’s a bit of a nod to other singer/songwriters who did this 80s revival thing a few years ago, like La Roux and Ladyhawke, as well as a hint of Haim in there. That said, while it may be nothing particularly original in itself, with the current trend towards 90s and 60s influenced music, it is kind of refreshing to see someone who’s not afraid to be shamelessly nostalgic and poppy. And gosh hecking darn it if it isn’t just the catchiest thing since whooping cough. I guarantee you’ll be grooving along to this one.
GL are on Facebook. Check it. Get down and boogie.
#1 Always The Last To Know by Emma & The Hungry Truth
TThe second I heard the opening of this song, I knew I would be hooked. A+ prediction on my part because I haven’t stopped listening to it all week. The six piece, led by singer and violinist Emma Dea, babalnce Celtic Folk, indie pop, and stadium pop/rock, evoking reminders of the Corrs, Coldplay and Of Monsters and Men, to name a few, and creating a sound all their own. There are so many things I love about this song. The vocal harmonies just soar so effortlessly. The repeating note on the piano is apparently a theme for me this week. The strings are interwoven perfectly, they’re not overdone, nor do they just follow the guitar or piano chords (probably because the band contains a violinist and a cellist, not just a keys player with a synth string sound). The tiny little glockenspiel tinklings here and there add some lightness to the arrangement without being trite or overly cutesy, a trap a lot of folk pop bands fall into. I get shivers in the bridge as it builds up to an exquisite A Capella moment. But my favourite thing about it is the change of time signature. The way it’s used to mirror the lyrics, “beat the same old time so I can count to four, and catch my breath before I hit the floor” is such a eureka moment. One of the best things I’ve heard all year. Amazing, magnificent, other synonyms for good.
Emma and the Hungry Truth are on Facebook.