Song Of The Day

Turin Brakes: Voices Glide And Dance

Turin Brakes i i

hide captionIn "Sea Change," the London folk-pop duo Turin Brakes makes the most of its impeccable vocal phrasing.

courtesy of the artist
Turin Brakes

In "Sea Change," the London folk-pop duo Turin Brakes makes the most of its impeccable vocal phrasing.

courtesy of the artist

Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Sea Change"
  • Artist: Turin Brakes
  • CD: Outbursts
  • Genre: Folk-Pop

Great songwriting is about more than just melody, chord structures, incisive lyrics or tight rhythms; it's also about the many mysterious subtleties of vocal phrasing, and about the way the human voice bends to complement every other component of a song.

In "Sea Change," the London folk-pop duo Turin Brakes takes full advantage of the way words can glide and dance around a piece of music. Opening with a picked guitar line that wouldn't sound out of place if played on a banjo in a bluegrass band, "Sea Change" moves with a bright and bouncy pastoral swing that's packaged alongside dark sentiments such as, "Six billion backs against the wall / Now, do we walk or run?" If Turin Brakes' members do one thing better than anything else, it's lift up a given word and let it simply glide across the speaker — it's a skill employed to great effect in the chorus of "Sea Change," which gathers speed and steam as the song barrels along. Whether fussed-over or not, the sweet phrasing lends tension to the verses that surround it, making those choruses feel like sweet relief.

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  • Album: Outbursts
  • Artist: Turin Brakes
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl Records
  • Released: 2010
 

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Song Of The Day