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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Single Review: Olympians – The Great Gatsby

Released: 13th February
Label: Barely Regal Records
Get It: Bandcamp

Barely Regal continue to deliver excellent music in an innovative format

The first in a series of book themed releases, the Olympians book club will see four CD singles which can all be ordered in one subscription. The first is 'The Great Gatsby', an epic and emotive swell of a single that combines whooshes of keyboard, snappy intricate guitar work and tons of vocal interplay. If Foals decided to regroup after assimilating The Futureheads songbook, it might have come out something like this.

A synthesiser runs under the several-part vocal on the introduction, before we're introduced to a rhythm section that plain refuses to sit still. Progressing through passages that play with simple instrumentation, seemingly played on a child's instrument, and more aggressively guitar driven ones, 'The Great Gatsby' is difficult to pin down. Yet despite this tendency to fill the song to it's brim with ideas Olympians still manage to ensure that hooks are plentiful and the song easily stays in the mind.

Proving also that they're capable of stripping the music back, b-side 'Tiny House, Tiny Mind is performed almost entirely on an acoustic guitar for the first minute, with Olympians trademark singing accompanying. When additional instrumentation does enter it's much more organic sounding, with percussion wooden and earthy. A twinkling of keyboard beneath highlights the nursery rhyme rhythm of the lyrics and we're left with an almost lullaby feel.

Last bonus track for 'The Great Gatsby' comes in the form of a remix of 'You Don't Have To Be A Prick', done by Mantid SNiP. Whilst not as worthy of yr attention as the studio numbers it adds further to the textures already present with a jittery rhythm, sparse urban implications and a focus on the guitar. Not essential perhaps, but a nice addition for those wanting a deeper understanding of the construction of Olympians songs.



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