There was a time when my enjoyment of electronic pop was maimed by La Roux. It was a combination of finding her hectoring voice irritating, and the music being a little bit too much throwback 80s (either chart music from that period or something like the soundtrack to a spectrum 128K game).
Then Paper Crows dropped into my inbox. This is more like it. A glacial starting shimmer quietly combines with a suspenseful keyboard line (it sounds like adventure!, possibly even magic! to me) before Emma Panas unveils a fine voice and a pretty melody. They tease us with a throb of bass – but don’t introduce anything first time, a nice touch. Just as we’re telling ourselves we can’t be fooled, that nothing is about to happen, voices swell and deepen in a chorus that hints at anthemic things to come but holds off really letting rip, again a canny move. This allows the song to continue gaining momentum so that when the drums kick in behind the second chorus they have much greater impact.
From there they completely throw me – that mysterious keyboard line returns but it’s brought a friend, a vibration like the growl of a digital beast. Panas has the answer – an optimistic, slowly-building bridge that briefly dissipates for a moment before we are back into the safe embrace of the chorus, to fade.
The track is downloadable for free here: