Thursday, August 22, 2013

Multiple Songs Rolled into One – San Fermin and Typhoon

     First, a “thank you” to SoundCloud. We are not sure how its business model works, but we certainly wish it success.
     One of the many beneficial features of SoundCloud is the ability to view a song's waveform The waveform provides an overview of the song, with any significant intensity increases and decreases. And the listener can merely mouse click in order to quickly change the playing position within the song. This click-change feature is one we use with almost every new song. For songs we like, we jump ahead in order to see if the artist “ruins” the fast start (if the song is particularly good, the jump may be performed with a silent prayer that the artist doesn’t screw it up). For songs that start less favorably, the leap is to determine if things improve.
     Too often, even for songs having a promising start, a double take is required after a forward jump. That is, the jump is triggered by the mouse click, but the song seems to continue without a hiccup, so a glance is required to confirm that it is a different portion of the song. When this happens, we immediately know that the best case scenario is one in which we will like the song for a while, but will grow tired of it soon.
     On the other hand, there are songs that change significantly when a jump is made. If the “before portion” and the “after portion” are both interesting, it bodes well for the song withstanding the test of time.
     On the third hand (What?! How about the third paw?), there are songs that require a double take because of the need to verify that you are still listening to the same song. The two songs we consider below fit within this third hand/paw category of "Is this the same song?"

     Indie Obsessive has mentioned the Brooklyn-based band San Fermin in a previous post. The song “Sonsick” was among our 17 trumpet-containing songs in the blog entry of July 21 (if interested, just CLICK HERE). But it is “Daedalus (What We Have)” that is inducing our obsessiveness now. While listening to the song and considering what to say about “Daedalus (What We Have),” we found ourselves at the 3:30 mark and the word “soaring” seemed appropriate. But the differences among the different portions of the song defy selection of a single-word description, unless the word is along the lines of “fluctuating.” But why not describe the song in terms of elevations. While the song soars at times, it is grounded at others.
     “Daedalus (What We Have)” begins with two rise-and-fall waves by the horns, but then the voice and lyrics enter with an approach that is firmly planted to the ground. In fact, the voice is “deep,” and to some degree, so are the lyrics. The ascension begins with the first waveform peak at the 1:50 mark. We love the trumpets and almost child-like choir that soon joins the trumpets. The “deep” part returns temporarily, but is followed by the soaring, which starts at the 3:15 mark. The elevation fluctuations continue as the song goes on, and the fluctuations are very effectively.
     “Daedalus (What We Have)” by San Fermin

       San Fermin is going on tour as of September 7, 2013. The full schedule is available at One stop will be at the Café du Nord in San Francisco on October 16. 

    The second song is Typhoon’s “Young Fathers.” We praised an earlier release by Typhoon in a May 23 blog entry (CLICK HERE). “Young Fathers” is another winner. We have the opportunity to see Typhoon within the Sunday schedule at the Austin City Limits Festival.
      Just looking at the SoundCloud waveform of “Young Fathers,” the variations in texture are clear. The voice of the lead vocalist is easy to distinguish, so there is a feature of the song that ties the portions together. But even with the voice, the quiet portion that runs from 3:12 to 3:33 doesn’t have the same feel as the in-your-face portion that begins at 3:33.
    Thanks Typhoon, see you on October.  "Young Fathers"


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