I don’t usually do single reviews, but occasionally a song stands out and makes me take notice, like really take notice and listen. This band ‘Larsen’ from Adelaide did that.
The first thing that grabbed my ears was the chimey guitar line that opens the song. I was immediately trying to pick if it was a Fender Jaguar or Mustang making that gorgeous sound (guitar nerd here). Before long the chorus landed, emo-grungey fuzz fuelled awesomeness spilled over and I was hooked.
Let me take a moment to explain a song writing principle that many artists ignore: the art of instant gratification. If a song takes longer than 30 seconds to grab a listener, it’s over. For radio play there’s this golden rule: no less than 2mins and no longer than 4mins to have a stable chance at getting a look without serious PR and campaigning. Those chances are significantly enhanced if the hook can drop in the first 20-25 seconds. Regardless of the style, sound or genre, this is a formula. Studies are finding songs released directly to streaming platforms are on average 1 to 1:13 shorter than they were a few years ago.
For Larsen, it’s in the bag. The tune is a straight up jam. Basement/Citizen/Balance and Composure vibes everywhere and I am ALL FOR IT. There’s a sad pop element to this, a monotonal vocal delivery that belies the emotional pull and the riff….ooff…the riff. It’s all there in the first 30+ seconds and then I’m stuck waiting for it to come again.
Next song writing principle: the tease. Once you give up the hook, hold it back, make people wait for it. Don’t be in a rush to return and milk it, the anticipation is as much fun as the pay-off.
Now, whether these A-town lads have considered these things or not..doesnt matter. The style and the execution is what turned my head. It helps of course that they sound great and this is super melancholy with big guitars.
Well done fella’s, go make 9 more of these.