Bridges – Up
Having a huge music career is much the same as progressing in any other field. It requires a great intuition towards problem-solving. Hits are songs that seemed to have always existed (probably because in terms of chords and melodies they did) that someone magically manages to put together.
Mainstream audiences usually react to familiarity sprinkled with a small serving of surprise. That is one of the reasons why Kurt Cobain was so successful. He figured out that that the Pixies could be a pop band, and he went for it. Similarly, indie groups of a previous couple of decades have understood that they can indulge their boy band fantasies while having guitars hang from their necks.
Bridges’ Up aims to solve that pop-radio problem in indie. They are certainly not the first and only ones to attempt such a thing. Of any scene or style, the indie kids are the most willing to try their hands at chart success. Melancholy-driven, melodic and slow trudging this is a nice pop tune featuring the talents of a Boss distortion pedal.
The Shadowboxers – A Feeling That You’re Leaving
In the short term, not even sustained commercial success can save you from the fate that befalls numerous groups, namely of being thought of as uncool. Some groups have sold millions of records and created genuinely well-crafted music. However, because of their fashion, or musical choices, or simply because of siding with those that have lost the coolness wars were doomed to be critically maligned for much of their existence.
Barry Gibb once called his great group, the Bee Gees, the “enigma with a stigma“. They may have possessed brilliant harmonized vocals and earned comparisons to the Beatles back in the 1960s. However, the fact their biggest album came to symbolize the disco craze, did not sit well with critics and true rockers.
Time has worn on and the greatness of the group is now more evident than ever. It’s hard to find a real musician that dislikes the Bee Gees, or who would not gladly trade in some of their hard work for some of the abilities that the brothers Gibb controlled.
With that in mind, it’s refreshing to hear the sun-soaked harmonies of The Shadowboxers’ A Feeling That You’re Leaving. It’s a song that echoes the three brothers, yet one that updates the musical direction for the indie age. Look, this is pop. But, you try and sing, write, arrange and produce something like this and dare say it’s easy.