Monday 25 August 2008

Matt-laminated emotional ambiguity: Metric

Metric (myspace, last fm) is a rather interesting band, fronted by Emily Haines (also worth investigating as a solo artist in her own right: here's her last fm page).

Today's song, then, is Metric's Grow Up and Blow Away – which you may download (quite legitimately, it seems, here, or just stream from last fm) ... There is something rather French-sounding about this, isn't there? Think Air. The way in which it flits rather whimsically between major and minor keys, lifting you back up just as you think you're about to sink into melancholia. I enjoy the resultant overall emotional ambiguity.

... And it's well-produced. There's a sort of matt-laminated quality to Metric's sound. Like a nicely-printed flyer for a very high-end restaurant. Smooth, refined – but not glossy.

Best … chord-change?
Happens at 0.41 - takes the progression one step further than you expect. Makes the song.

The second half is a little more bland than the first, and the middle-eight is far less striking than other parts of the song – a bit safe.


halem said...

It must be the whimsical flitting between major and minor that means, if someone were to ask me to try and sing this song, I couldn't do it.

I have to say, I love those samba-tinged drums just before the chorus kicks in. Witty in its corniness

Tom Parnell said...

Yes, that's it. There's an effect as if someone's using a pitch-shifter to mess with the vocal melody and chords - because it sounds so harmonically and melodically unnatural.

I hadn't noticed the samba drums. Superb.

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