Imagine you’re listening to the Alternative 90’s playlist on Spotify, and that you’ve been doing so religiously for the past month. You know every song on the playlist like the back of your hand and could easily recite every lyric on the mix if you were asked to. Maybe you even know what album each song is from. Hell, maybe you even know who produced it.
Now, you’re listening to the playlist while making dinner on a Tuesday night and an unfamiliar song begins to play. You don’t question it because it feels like it belongs there and you haven’t been paying much attention lately to what or who the mix is playing. The unfamiliar song is “Trouble” by Tallies. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think it was a song by Cocteau Twins. Then again, you haven’t listened to them in a while and more often than not mistake every female vocalist for Liz Fraser.
The song plays again even though you didn’t put it on replay. The opening 45 seconds are made up of guitar riffs similar to the ones you’ve been trying to accomplish for the past five years with no avail. Gentle bangs of percussion and background thumps produced by a kick drum has you dancing around your apartment while dinner burns. But it’s fine, you’re enjoying yourself, in the moment, and strike a new move to every downbeat of the kick drum.
The softness of the vocalist drowns into the production of the song but somehow, they complement each other. A glance at the album art reminds you of Power, Corruption, & Lies by New Order, but just slightly. You wonder where this band, Tallies, draw inspiration from. As the song draws near to an end, it becomes heavy with the drum and guitar riff, drowning out the vocalist even more. Somehow, it works.
The song blends in so much with the Alternative 90s playlist that you wonder if Tallies would be better off in the 90s.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.
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