Listen to Women
“Less is more” is an ethos too often overlooked by producers and musicians alike. Not every single has to sound like Phil Spector, Dave Fridmann, and Timbaland were fighting over the mixing board.
Case in point: Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On” uses its bass line like a fulcrum, employing repetition and simplicity to a point of sweet confection (sans the heavy lifting).
“Black Rice” – the first single from Canadian newcomers Women – lives by the same minimalist creed. The main riff employs a grand total of three notes; a glockenspiel and piano incessantly pound the same D during the chorus; your little sister could play the drum part. Yet all of these elements are absurdly well-chosen, melding together into a catchy-as-hell rock/pop song.
The minimalism ends up accentuating the song’s real gem: the vocal melody. The lead singer (whose name remains elusive despite insistent Googling) channels a Colin Blunstone/Brian Wilson ‘60s aesthetic with a more modern, nasal bent and an impeccable falsetto. In true pop fashion, the chorus demands to be sung, though you’ll probably be singing the wrong words, since the lyrics are tough to catch. Still, “Black Rice” is effortless, infectious, tuneful, and drunk – the epitome of a great summer song.