I was particularly excited when I heard Ken McHugh was involved in a new project after his work with Automata and coupled with vocalist Dana Donnelly there’s something here that really works. I remember Ken’s sound as this atmospheric, lovely rich and captivating force and Dana’s voice sings out with space and breath adding to that ambience.
‘I’m your Vinyl’ have been about for a good year now and their previous EP ‘No Regrets’ seemed to, in some ways holds onto the familiar soundscape I associate with Automata. In their new single ‘Erase It’ they have developed that sound, moving toward a much more mainstream and popular genre. It actually reminds of Moloko’s more popular tracks.
The single starts with a sparse drumbeat with staccato stabs on a horn section playing the predominant progression throughout the track. Dana’s voice comes in and I believe it’s the mix of her voice sounding somewhat like Roisin Murphy’s and the emphasis on the beat that reminds me of Moloko. At the same time it has a slightly different mood and feel, which is far less underground and much more colourful.
The hook in the chorus has one of these both loved and hated catchy melodies. It doesn’t offer up any great amazement to start with but soon you’ll find yourself humming it on the train to work trying to remember what it’s called. Personally I’m a bit fascinated with the idea of what makes a song catchy so this track, while I wouldn’t listen to this type of pop too often, has it’s own confusing appeal.
Then there’s the first interlude and with it I feel I must clause this paragraph by saying this is just my opinion. After the second chorus we’re hit with a classic key change jumping up a forth from G minor to C minor which is all a bit too cheesy for me. I’m assuming there’s a time and a place for this kind of thing but I don’t think it’s pulled off very well here. Dana’s voice holds it together to an extent but is unfortunately backed up by what I can only describe as bubblegum backing vocals. I think the song could have done without this part altogether to be honest.
As the track progresses it subtly introduces more instruments along the way building both momentum and a growing funk influence, which works really well. The second last chorus features some rhythm guitar and this accumulates into a very short solo and a second interlude. This time we’re carried along by a simple but memorable guitar riff.
It’s this mainstream funk that’s creeping back into the charts, reminiscent of Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’, that might just push this release into the limelight. First interlude aside I really quite like the track and was impressed by both Ken’s new direction and Dana’s voice.
However sometimes I think raw talent can be hidden in pop music and to an extent I think this might be the case with Dana’s vocal part in ‘Erase It’, but if you pay attention you can hear that she really has some set of pipes.
I’m eager now to see what the rest of the album is like, but secretly hope the whole thing isn’t as ‘Pop’ as ‘Erase It’