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Monday, February 20, 2012

"Float On"

Modest Mouse - "Float On" (2004)

Just an optimistic pop song from an unlikely source.

Modest Mouse were a small indie band known for "moody" and "edgy" lyrics with shouted vocals. Between their major label debut The Moon & Antarctica and the release of this single, four years of trouble had followed songwriter and frontman Isaac Brock around, including drug abuse, time in jail, a broken jaw, and rape allegations. Contrary to fan and critical expectations, the first single from Good News for People Who Love was this infectious jangly guitar track. No matter what happens to the singer, it's all going to be okay. Sure, the vocals are still shouted (sometimes) but there's also some very sweet harmony sections.

The use of discordant guitar when something bad is mentioned, (this practice occurs in the second verse) which then fades away as the band confirms that everything is going to float on binds the music to the lyrics in a really fun great way. Like a movie soundtrack, things get a little tense in the background music when the lead sees a shadow under their door, but once we see it is their best friend the music comes back to major chords and pushes onward. For those wondering, the opening hollow sounding drum intro is not from "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. But I thought it was, so I checked. It's close, but not the same rhythm, I would swear it's the same sound though, either put through the same effects filter or the same setting on the same electric drum set.

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