Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Song Review - Dropout

by Halfway
Album: Any Old Love (due February 7, 2014)

There's got to be something I can pinpoint about this song to explain just how much I like it. Is it the beginning, the guitars that seem so familiar, that remind me of long summer days and bright blue skies and the feeling of a second beverage on my lips? Is it those first couple of words; "standing by..." and the comforting voice of Chris Dale that makes me forget where I am and takes me to friends and memories and somewhere I just know I like, even if I haven't been there yet. Is it the solid rhythm of bass, or the ever present, ever faithful sound of Elwin Hawtin's drums that make it so hard not to love?

Maybe it's the meeting of two voices, that reassuring tone of John Busby's that makes me smile and settles my thoughts instantly. Maybe it's the familiarity and pleasing way of Luke Peacock's beard keys that I like the most. Could it even be the knowledge that there is a previous member of The Go-Betweens in this band that makes them all that more impressive?  

All of that matters, but there's that magical thing that you can't quite define in 'Dropout'; a feeling, an emotion and it's something that not all bands manage to find. It's the slight smile from behind the microphone, the subtle nod between guitarists and the look of admiration between band members...all of that and a damn catchy chorus that make 'Dropout' and it's clip another reminder that while some bands become the darlings of the media, the radio, the blogosphere; there's other bands that are just doing their thing. Doing it not for the fame, not for the fortune, but for the love of music.

And that's what it is. That's what I've been trying to pinpoint. All the details are important, but without a love of music, a song is just a song and not a journey. Halfway have started a journey with this track and I can't even begin to imagine how much I'm going to love that journey all the way through their fourth EP, Any Old Love, which will be released next month. If this is the slightest indication, I'm so looking forward to it.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Dropout' four Johnny Cash heads out of five...

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