The Season/ Carry Me – Anderson.Paak

The Season/ Carry Me – Anderson.Paak

MartinNBT

My 1s thought was, ‘he gets this mostly right’ my second thought was, ‘I am only one sentence into this, and I am already damning it with faint praise’.  But after consideration, ‘mostly right’ is an absolutely remarkable achievement, given what is being attempted here.  I came into both .Paak and this album fairly late.  It was snuggled there on my MP3 player alongside tunes from Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Shuggy Otis, and when the tune started, I was walking through crowds (remember those??) in the city centre, the song a great counterpoint to the rather frantic hustle around me.  I had no idea WHO this was, just that here was someone trying to mix stream of consciousness with Motown style psychedelica (think Masterpiece era Temptations) with touches of Prince, Van Dyke Parkes (think Beach Boys ‘Smile’ era) and modern hip hop.  I was totally captivated.

Sparky

I like your “Motown stream of consciousness Psychedelica” observation.  It is a VERY interesting sound.  One of the things that struck my attention right from the start, through both “The Season” and “Carry Me” sections was the way the chorus answers the rap, sort of like the chorus in an ancient Greek play.  It’s also “there” but “not there all the time”, which jolts the mind a bit.  Music usually provides patterns that the subconscious can lock onto, but this artist is laying down only partial patterns, which work just as well, probably even better, because the bit that is “not there” draws the mind in further, looking for it.  I know that sounds very esoteric, but that’s the way this “double feature” grabs me.

I like the way .Paak sort of half sings, half raps his way through the musical battlefield he has created from simple repetitive samples, sparse drum and bass, interesting sounds, great choral effects on the vocals, and carefully crafted musical ambience.  He’s also got a really relaxed rapping style.  Very soulful, and I can see where you get the “Motown” feel from.  By the way, I noticed Bill Withers’ name in the writing credits but couldn’t recognise him.  I am presuming it must be some famous song sampled, but I can’t pick it out.  Can you?

MartinNBT

Aah yes, Let’s go down the Sample Rabbit Hole together.  With the help from one of my favourite websites, whosampled.com (try not spending more time than you actually have there, it’s impossible), you start to get a great aural picture of how clever, wry and lovable the track is.  From the very 1st few seconds where he takes that master of the Progressive Elevator Music, Tomita, who is busy destroying Peer Gynt, and then SPEEDS it up so it sounds like a cartoon classic.  The Withers sample you speak of is from a cover by The Crowns of Glory taking on ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ (and like with all good sample use, introduces the listener to a song that, after that, they just have to have in their collection); then .Paak ups the clever humor by sampling the great Gary Busey from the surf epic ‘Big Wednesday’ and caps it all with a lyric ‘steal’ from a Jay-Z tune.

Sparky

Gosh, Morpheus, look at YOU with your Big Sample Rabbit Hole!  I sure am swallowing the RED PILL here… I can definitely see how I missed the Bill Withers tune, even though I know “Ain’t No Sunshine” really well.  Yeah, it’s a good eclectic contemporary selection, and apart from the cultural slices, I notice lots of little sampled sounds in the mix as well.  I imagine this guy’s got a good home studio.

His words are really potent as well but my favourite line in the whole piece is “When I crack the cookie, all it said was ‘keep dreaming’”.  It captures so eloquently the disappointment in life that almost everyone must feel at some time or another (or, most of the time, I would hazard a guess, for most people) when they hope for hidden messages to be revealed by the fates.  Those wicked fortune cookies!

MartinNBT

What thrills me about the story-telling is how effortlessly it shifts from past to present, done so well that we accept those shifts totally and never lose our sense of where and when we are, we hook onto him memory/ dream logic.  If you listen to a song and have not been influenced by (or have seen) the video, you naturally make mental movies about what is being sung.  It is telling that as I walked in the very colourful busy crowd, those movies, evoked by the words here, often were sepia tinged and sometimes even old newsreel black and white  Even the modern ‘bits’ had a “Polaroid” tinge of nostalgia.  Every time I listen to this I find a new line to catch onto and marvel at.  Favourite line presently is “…And fuck fame, that killed all my favorite entertainers”, as seemingly throw-away aside, that tells us so much about the character and the song he resides within.

Sparky

Speaking of the video, I love that little intro with the jazzy American TV tune playing under the cheesy title sequence.  Hilarious!  And I like the way the artist leaves the proscenium arch curtains superimposed throughout.  Your “mental movie” already has a stage, it seems.  Hey Martin, I had never heard of this artist before, so thanks to you and NBT for bringing him to my attention.  No doubt we will be hearing more from him in the future.

MartinNBT

It is well worth investigating all of the artist’s other work including the parent album (Malibu) where the song themes, the personal, and the political, are laid out even more in often exciting and challenging ways.  I am also happy to report that the casual misogynistic tropes that sneak into far too much good music is kept to a minimum and surfaces only a few times.  Why this is sadly STILL a thing, even with enlightened thoughtful artists like Lamar and .Paak, is a discussion for another day, but one that I, personally, would love to see the artists themselves dive deep into.  I can also highly recommend his latest single “Lockdown’, in which he details his experience at the Black Lives Matter protests held in Los Angeles in June 2020.  One of the singles of the year so far.

Sparky

I agree. I just listened to ‘Lockdown’.  Not as experimental as ‘Season/Carry Me’, but mighty fine, mighty relevant, and sporting a powerful video to boot.  Nice find.  Thank the Fates for them MP3 Playlists!

All In – The La Fontaines

All In – The La Fontaines

Released June 2019        From Album:  Junior                      Label:  SO Recordings

Written by:  The La Fontaines   Reached Number 33 in UK Charts, Number 2 in Scotland

Sparky

There’s a line near the beginning of this song:

       “You wanna hear the story?  Well I can tell lots/ Said she liked rap, but never from the Scots”

It is poignant because that is one of the first things I noticed about this young independent outfit from Motherwell in Scotland.  Unashamed rap in a Scottish accent!  I guess that should not sound so strange.  I mean, although rap usually sounds “American”, I am also pretty used to hearing it in a “Caribbean” accent.  But, being Scottish myself, I can’t think I ever heard that particular sound, before hearing this band.

“All In” is the first song from the band’s third album, “Junior”  There’s an underlying “wall of sound” guitar that reminds me of Jerry Harrison from the Talking Heads.  I’m thinking in particular of the song “Worlds in Collision”.  I’m sure there are many other songs that use this sort of background, but that’s the one I think of immediately.  It is the kind of sound that I imagine can be used for videos of bombers flying over cities in World War 2.  There’s something about the sound that compares it in my mind to droning engines.  Not that I am trying in any way to say this reflects the content of the song.  I am merely talking about a particular thick guitar soundscape that I love.

MartinNBT

You got it exactly!!!  That airplane hum is the very 1st thing that hooked me into the song and kept me listening and excited throughout.  Then you have that opening electro ‘squeaky door’ sample that continues through the tune, and you have this lovely sense of tension.  Both vocals are fairly restrained and ‘matter of fact’ compared to that, so you have the sense of emotions stretched taut almost to breaking point, counterpointed by two sets of storytelling, succinct, in an absolute clarity of thought v the ‘heaviness’ of the instrumental arrangement.  The rap side of the equation never becomes a dirge-lie plod (something a lot of ‘blue-eyed’ hip hop sadly sinks into) and the chorus seems to have drifted in from another (bubblegum) song entirely, which shouldn’t work, but does.

P.S:  I think that MANY comparisons to The Streets are totally lazy and also wrong.

Sparky

I actually think they’ve got their formula just right: rap verse followed by simple but catchy ‘sung’ chorus – two different vocalists as well!  I believe they have also thinned their general sound a bit, having recently trimmed the band down to three core members.  They may still use overdubs or have extra bits played, but it seems to me as if the writing, the creative craftsmanship, is lean and powerful.

I haven’t seen them live but know a few people who have, and apparently, they are extremely engaging, doing equally well at festivals and small venues.  Ah, remember festivals!   But I digress… you mentioned the phrase ‘clarity of thought’, and I think that captures their essence.  Strong.  Singular.  Determined.  Yet not too serious.  Singing about everyday things.  Human relationships.  Etc. Etc.

MartinNBT

Would I be correct in thinking that ‘Junior’ is their ‘breakthrough album’? (I know they had at least two albums before this).  I will say that I am not entirely sold on the collection.  It’s a little too ‘careful’ in hitting the right beats in a slick way that distances me somewhat.  Though I can also cheerfully admit that this is just a ‘feeling’ and I cannot fault the songwriting and performance skill at all, but I am going to have to withhold my unconditional love for the time being and hope there isn’t a Kaiser Chiefs like implosion down the line.  That said, this song, I already know, WILL make it into the list when it comes time to put together the infamous NBTMusicRadio’s best of 2020.  Over to you for the final words.

Sparky

I think you are right about the “breakthrough album thing”.  I remember reading about the band feeling that this album was a bit of a step up for them.  It’s a great album and this is a cracking opening song.  Nothing much more for me to say.  I love it.

Jungle -Tamy Stevens featuring Oswin Benjamin

Jungle -Tamy Stevens featuring Oswin Benjamin

Jungle -Tamy Stevens featuring Oswin Benjamin 

Released:  10 March 2020       

Writer: Stevens/Benjamin  Label: Indie  From the Album “The InBetween Part 1”

MartinNBT

Going into this discussion, please allow me, good sir, to make some seemingly unrelated points in a ramble I like to call “man! This song excites me!”  1) I found this track via a virtual crate dug deep within the Bandcamp site.  I highly recommend that anyone with some small curiosity, spend an hour or two every few weeks or so, just browsing the genres (setting the controls to ‘newly added’, thus avoiding being steered into just music they want you to buy – you WILL have to sift through a fair amount of dreck, but the diamonds you will find will be worth it.  2) Electro Soul aka Future Soul aka Modern Hip-hop is this generation’s punk music.  3) The way that so many in the music establishment react to this type of music and performance reminds me, in a weird way, of those full Ed Sullivan shows back in the early sixties where the Beatles made their debut.  Up until then, this variety show was the home of crooners, family entertainers, old men doing standup, show tunes and assorted jugglers and acrobats.  They were all there, present and correct, those two nights, but you could feel all these showmen and ladies felt this big change in the wind.  They did not understand it, and judging by some of the jokes, were a tiny bit afraid of it; but deep down they KNEW that their time was almost done and a new musical path was going to be followed.  4) I LOVE this tune.  It’s angry and vibrant and sharp and one million percent relevant to right now.

Sparky

I agree that this song stands out from its very opening bars.  That little “flute-synth” sample is more like an ear dragon than an earworm.  I remember the very first time I heard it (which was on NBTMusicRadio by the way), my ears turned toward the source like all those world telescopes turning to find a supernova in response to a LIGO detection.  If that simile is too much for some people, then let me tell you, there is a whole universe to discover out there….maybe more!  Anyway, if you can imagine all the world’s giant antennas turning in unison to pinpoint that major intergalactic event, then that is how my ears picked up on this song.  I don’t know what those little percussive sounds are, but they sure give life to that sample, man!

I don’t know how those music establishment dudes you speak of react to such things, but I know that something like this pins my attention to the cosmos in some way, even if I am not consciously aware of it at the time; the pin sticks in, and next time I hear it, it lights up or buzzes, and I notice it a bit more.  That’s the way Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend” got me, and that’s the way this one got me.  And so far, I’m only even talking about the first ten seconds of the song.

MartinNBT

I am so glad you mention those vital first few seconds.  The most common fault with far too many submissions to NBT is that, even with short songs, they take too long to get to the point.  There is clutter, or settling in, or, worst of all, showing off.  All the impact is lost and what comes after is all too easily ignored.  Here the production (by Tyjeer “Metric Medic” Carruthers) is razor sharp, Ms Steven’s opening line tells the story clearly and concisely, there is no excess fat, either emotionally or creatively.  I tried to see if I could find the lyrics on Genius or similar, but sadly was unable to.  The song is so new it hasn’t made it to her Soundcloud yet, as far as I know, but hopefully enough interest is generated, so that the words will make it online, because just lyrically there is so much to unpack here.

Sparky

Yes, I also failed in a similar lyric search, which is a pity because I do not pick out lyrics in a song very easily.  I’m more a sound, rhythm and melody guy and tend to get my lyrical understanding of songs through a general essence of some sort of unconscious auditory selection than hearing words and phrases that my conscious ears can’t quite get.  This probably sounds like some sort of science fiction, but I swear that’s how things work from me.  I can get the lyrical essence without knowing the lyrics, or at least, I think I can.  I haven’t quite got the lyrical essence on this one yet, so I will rather talk about the quality of the voice itself.

First thing to note is that she is very versatile.  Already in the chorus, there is a whole different quality to her voice than in the opening stanza.  She obviously has a strong soul voice, not just of the “Electro soul” and “Future soul” genres you mentioned earlier, but “soul” as in the wider musical sense.  I tried to listen to a few of her other songs and found she has excellent control of her singing voice, as opposed to her “rapping” style. But it is the rapping style that hits you first in this song, following in after those huge bass/drum combos.  “I remember my birthday when they shot…”  It’s hard to follow, but one immediately gets a sense of a dark story unfolding.  And the vocal style itself is just as infectious as the musical lick counterpart in the intro.  Much like in the way that the style that someone like Cardie B seemed to offer something refreshing compared to the style of Nicky Minaj, so does Tamy’s style seem to reach out to me.  As I said, it is hard for me to distinguish all the words, but I do get an essence of “pain” and delving deeper into the “chambers” of Tamy Stevens online “wardrobe”, I found this quote from her:  “Pain makes us seek power so that we’ll no longer experience the vulnerability that allowed pain into our lives in the first place.”  I think that quotation can probably be ascribed to this song.

MartinNBT

Here we have a vocalist with natural instincts, influencing the arrangement of a song, just by the way they say a word or indeed WHEN they say that word, and a good producer totally in sync with that, moulding the tune around the vocalist’s ebb and flow.  It says much about the song, that for days I embarked on intellectual flights of fancy and yet, instead in the end, found myself whittling my thoughts down to the barest essence.  These guys know how to make excellent pop music and I feel better for having heard it.

Sparky

I agree.  I also just thought that it seems Tamy’s song was just beginning to break before the Covid-19 situation hit us.  Hopefully, this won’t put too much of a stop to her.  This song is a brilliant testament to her creative talent, and with people like Oswin Benjamin at her back, she is obviously well supported.  The more songs like this we hear on the radio, the better.

https://tamystevens.bandcamp.com/track/jungle-ft-oswin-benjamin

Toy – Pinhdar

Toy – Pinhdar

Produced in Italy 2019 – reached No 3 in NBTMusicRadio’s best tracks of 2019.

MartinNBT

When choosing the songs that NBT thought were a good showcase of song writing, producing and performance skills, one of the main guidelines was, does this get under your skin?  Do you find yourself singing it as you go shopping, (or NOT going shopping a few months later while under lockdown)  The key, for this listener anyway, is how perfectly it is firstly arranged, and then secondly, the subtle production that never calls attention to itself.  Just as the best special effect is one you do not even realize IS a special effect.  This creation is the type of song I have always called ‘dense’ (dictionary meaning: “closely compacted in substance”).  An older example of this was the Simple Minds tune ‘Promised You A Miracle’ or even the Police’s ‘Message In A Bottle’ and slightly more up to date, Arctic Monkey’s ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’.  Musically, here is a lot going on, driving rhythms counterpointed by a lilting vocal melody, the tune grows in energy and intensity, without succumbing to the over-dramatic.  It is that sweetest contradiction, gently epic.  It is also that rarest of beasts – a 5 minute song that FEELS like it is a three minute pop classic.

Sparky

I liked the clean production right from the start of this song.  The way the song starts with that sort of rimshot beat mixed in with that picking guitar and the big jangly chords actually reminded me of that Foals song, ‘Inhaler’.  The track comes in pretty soon with a strong melody line and I love the way the single voice is supported by a whispered backing vocal, brought up in the mix. Nice effect that.  I wasn’t immediately humming it, but I can say, after hearing it once (for the first time), I recognised it immediately when it played on NBTMusicRadio the next day.  Now, after listening to the song several times, I can attest to the fact that it is a “grower”.  A right little germinating earworm of a song!  How did YOU first come across it?

MartinNBT

Well the album kinda got submitted to NBT twice, the 1st time in April last year by the PR Company High Violet, who consistently sends me great indie stuff.  The way that releases work via a ‘gateway’ like a PR bunch or a distribution firm, is they TELL you who they think the band sounds like, this is totally understandable, though not always accurate, but if a PR firm tells me the act sounds like, say Kid Rock, then they have simply saved me the trouble of going through the process any further ha ha.  In this instance my curiosity was peaked cause they wrote that the duo sounded like Portishead and Unkle, bands I like quite a lot, I am not sure about that comparison though, what do YOU think?  I learned that this was the duo’s second outfit, and though based in Italy they had extensive and ‘intense’ tours in the USA and England, even playing in the infamous CBGBs.  I also learned that they curate ‘A Night Like This’ Music festival situated in the farmland between Milan and Turin.  A little secret which might horrify all the wonderful PR companies NBT deals with, I usually do not pay attention to just the ‘plug’ track, (i.e. the so called ‘single’) and prefer to download the entire album, then listen to the whole thing and choose for myself what songs I think are going to connect with my listeners.  For me though, yup Toy was going to be in high rotation.  Then later in the year, the guys (Cecilia and Max) got in touch, personally after following NBT on Instagram, and I was very happy to tell them, that not only were they already playlisted, but Toy was being considered very favourably for and in the ‘best of 2019’ charts I was busy working through.

Sparky

Well, I don’t know enough about Unkle, but I can definitely hear a similarity to Portishead.  A tranquil yet crisp semi-electronic darkness suffused with a strong female vocal performance.  I guess I’d stand with the PR Company on that score.  And there IS a subtle darkness, for all its clean production sound.  That may emanate from the lyrical theme more than the music itself, and the video certainly lends itself to this.  I read that Cecelia and Max had previously been involved in a rock band called ‘Nomoredolls’ so I watched their YouTube video, ‘Killers’ and the duo have certainly moved more in a Portishead direction. There is quite a nice ‘gliding’ bass sound in ‘Toy’ and I wonder if Max was the bassist in the previous band.  I guess it matters not.  The instrumentation in ‘Toy’ is quite lush overall.  There are very subtle keyboard washes that I only noticed after a few listens.  Sort of soaring sounds that float in the background, quietly complementing the guitar, bass and percussion, which are quite prominent but not in any way overbearing.  All in all, a very nice mix.

MartinNBT

I will finish off my side of this, with two things.  Cecilia and Max along with Dave Robinson from the band Angry Saints really did so much to get the NBT vs The Virus thing going, introducing me to some thirteen indie bands covering all genres, and allowing NBT to showcase acts from Italy and Spain, which when we started, were hectically affected by Covid and in severe lockdown.  I never got the chance to develop that project further (not enough hours in the day sadly, but all the bands are still playlisted) but what an amazing bunch of musicians.  You briefly mentioned the video for Toy.  Another standard NBT practice which possibly would horrify the PR peeps, is I try if at all possible to avoid the promo vids, until the songs are safely playlisted within the 24/7 stream.  My logic for this, is people listening to any given track at any given time, are hearing only the audio, and so when choosing which songs will be played, it must be the same criteria.  But when I did get to see the video, I was intrigued and disturbed and touched in equal measure.  Believing that one should never ask the actual artist what they meant or intended with their art, I can ask YOU what you thought of the piece.  So the final thoughts from you!

Sparky

Well, I liked the video a lot, and as I listened to the song more and more, I also watched the video more and more.  I noticed different things each time, seeing many little things that I had previously missed.  My general impression was that it mirrored the lyrical theme of the song and seemed to suggest that a person could be (and often would be) abused in many ways by other people – this was seen in the video several times on different levels through the people in the art gallery interacting with the singer/exhibit.  Abuse comes from everybody – children, men, women, young, old; and on many levels – from “grabbing a selfie” to some quite violent actions in some cases.  However, unlike you, I don’t have any reservations in asking the artist and so asked Max Tarenzi about this.  When I told him what I thought, he said “That’s exactly the point”, and explained that the song pictures a “noir” situation, leading to a worst case scenario.  Of the video, he added: “…this takes the subject to a further step of representing different forms of violence, both physical and psychological, in our modern society”.  And so with that agreement, I will bow out of the conversation and commend both the song and supporting video to the house.

And So We Begin

And So We Begin

Greetings curious listeners and fellow fans of the NBTMusicRadio stations.

Here be fragments, debates, dissections, and battles between the heart and the mind, as two lovable indie music geeks ponder a selected tune within an inch of its life.

Our choices may sometimes surprise you (take a gander at the 1st post for example) as we trip hectically from the Mainstream to the Alternative, from the very well known to the still obscure.

Usually this is the point in the blog, where I tell you a little about the writers, but in a typically contrary NBT way, I will rather leave you, gentle reader, to discover what you feel you need to know, from just their words and thoughts.

So.  Let’s dive in shall we  

Yellow – Coldplay

From Debut album “Parachutes” in 2000.

“Look at the stars/Look how they shine for you/And everything you do

Yeah they were all yellow.”

Sparky

I remember the very first time I heard this song. (My good friend) Andrew Kay and I used to go round to our manager’s house some evenings.  Paul Drosdzol – He was a news sub, but also a keen muso – ran a club in Randburg for a while, and always got the very latest UK releases before they came out in South Africa.  He loved this one especially, and so did we.  The fact that the most important thing in the song was that everything was YELLOW really appealed to our sense of humour.  And let’s face it; it’s a very catchy tune too!

MartinNBT

The track definitely takes you back to a ‘time and place’ which, for me has always been the mark of a creation that has that little something to it.  It is also, to be very honest, the only Coldplay track, with the notable exception of ‘the scientist’, that sticks in my mind at all.  For me, Coldplay has been a band that has been ‘just there’ pleasant, does no harm, not irritating, but also not inspiring.  So I have never understood why the band engenders such hate from one group and love and devotion from another.

Sparky

I probably have a slightly higher opinion of the band than you.  I can think of many of their tunes that have stuck in my mind, or that I have even hummed.  I can’t remember many song names right now, but maybe my younger self would have been better at that.  However, I do completely get your observation of this band being very much in the “Marmite” category with regard to public opinion.  However, when that song first came out at the turn of the Century, people wouldn’t have yet formed those opinions, so I guess it would have got a more honest reaction from everyone, and from my experience, that was generally good.  I remember when it made it on to the radio in South Africa, most people liked it, and I was hearing it all the time.  We always received a strong audience approval whenever we performed it live.  And it’s so easy to sing.  Audiences also tend to sing along to that “Look how they shine for you” bit.  It’s always great when your audience sings along with you.

MartinNBT

I didn’t know that you guys covered it!  What did you do ‘differently’ with regards to arrangement?  The song IS indeed, very well constructed and gets to the point quickly and concisely, something that too much pop music struggles with.  There is no excess fat.  However, I think, and indeed did think back then, (its twenty years old….just WOW) that this was the first time I started to notice that ‘nice’ was a huge selling point for what we loosely term indie music.  At the time there was not much interesting stuff going on musically for so called ‘alternative’ acts that were on major labels or in the charts, i.e. music that made it onto the same radio shows’ playlists, which our parents and workmates were listening to as well.  Of the top 100 selling tunes for that year, only sub standard REM and Oasis were placed.  Of the stuff that was doing reasonably well sales wise, (but still not getting played on mainstream platforms), there was a certain blandness pervading (ladies and gentlemen I offer up the Beta Band and Modest Mouse as proof) in fact, from that year only ‘At The Drive In’ had the sort of danger and excitement that would not grow old even many years later.  I am sure you could point out many examples though, of acts that I have missed.  And while it is indeed over harsh, and I will fully admit, absurdly unfair, to lay the blame on one track from the band, this is the tune, that for me, started a trend, or tradition, of record execs realizing they could pass off soft rock as something edgy or independent and thus doubling their audience.  Bands like Travis were taking notes!

Sparky

….and James Blunt was selling off his Army Surplus gear to buy a new guitar.  Our cover was as Andrew’s band, “The Party Dolls” and was basic rock standard: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals.  Perfect for Pubs.  As you said, that was 20 years ago, and everything in the industry has changed so much in that time, but your mention of song construction also makes me think of the video for the song.  Now, I only saw the video quite a long time after knowing the song quite well; but I remember it touching my heart quite deeply.  It seemed to be shot as a long single shot that started in the dark and gradually caught the morning light in real time as Chris Martin (with his cute little weather-beaten face) paced along the beach, singing to the camera.  I have since learned that the darkening of the light was done by some sort of telecine effect by James Frost and Alex Smith of “The Artists Company”, and was apparently inspired by the lighting effect at the beginning of “Jaws”.  I also read on Wikipedia that they shot it at double speed and then slowed it down to get that subtle slow motion effect.  Nonetheless, I remember finding the video extremely captivating at the time.

MartinNBT

That is really interesting info about the video, shows you that something that seems to be almost throw-away (dude walks on beach towards camera, sings too) if made with care, and a lot of thought and skill, will connect, in such a way that many will recall it much later.  It also seemed to start off a pop music trope;  we had Bittersweet Symphony, where Richard Ashcroft did it in a city with attitude and anger, The Temper Trap – Love Lost , where it was done by kids in the 50s running a ‘loneliness of the long distance runner’ race and LCD Soundsytem ‘All my Friends’ using tech, irony and face paint’.  All of which go to show what an excellent concept, and well executed at that, the Coldplay clip was.

Sparky

By the way, I thought I might just add in the vital statistics.  Released 26 June 2000 from the Coldplay debut album “Parachutes”.  Label: Parlaphone.  Writers:  Martin, Buckland, Berryman, Champion.  Produced by Ken Nelson and Coldplay.  Reached number 4 in the UK, Number 48 in USA and Number 1 in Iceland.

Sparky

As for what the song is really all about; well apparently Chris Martin said: “Yellow’ refers to the mood of the band.  Brightness and hope and devotion.”  And if anyone knows, I guess he should.  What do you think?

MartinNBT

Mark, I think, that you have argued the case for this track exceptionally well.  I don’t think you have made me like the song any more than I originally did, and that is, perhaps, because I have never really been emotionally invested in the tune or indeed in the group.  I think, that possibly you have made me ‘respect’ it a little more, which is a good take-away actually, because we tend to forget, even tunes we do not connect with, heck even tunes we actively dislike, are made and promoted with love, care and thought, and we should never dismiss them out of hand.  I also think that a band like Coldplay, got blander the more popular they became, and that sort of artistic risk aversion, is always troubling.  But those are thoughts for another twenty conversations down the line.