“Black dog is following me.”

Hello my pretties,

How are we all this evening? Do I have a treat for you today, well let’s be honest I have a treat for every time my fingertips touch these keys. The other day a little gem was posted in my message box, and I just couldn’t keep it to myself. Ready for my verdict?

23602232_1511705778898466_2091397269_nDeep in the not-so-small city of Brighton lives Elias Kopp, a lovely little trio (originally a solo project) who have managed to inject blues beautifully dark tone into the shiny world of pop. Think if Imagine Dragons and Tears For Fears had a love child. Although, the song ‘Saviour’ does remind me a little of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s ‘Human’ – particularly the sparser sections and vocal delivery.

They say ideally in pop it shouldn’t take you longer than a minute to get to the chorus, or at least have the hook within 30seconds, these manage to tick both these boxes pretty early. What’s more, another pop characteristic they adhere to this standard structure of ABCABCDCB, continuously coming back to this memorable, upbeat hook and chorus. However, the melancholy haze of blues shrouds it perfectly, removing pop’s polished surface. Arguably giving it substance.

23618845_1511706702231707_1577493531_nThe way the structure has been built and arranged instrumentally is intriguing, for instance the introduction consists of backing harmonies over a relatively quiet synth. On top of this, the main vocal line is harmonised with throughout 90% of the song. You’d think, on paper, all these harmonies would be too much, overpowering and not in a good way. Yet Elias Kopp have managed to layer them tastefully that effectively contribute to this dramatic, cathartic voice. My favourite part of the entire song, aside from the lyrics as we all know I’m a lyrics freak, is the first verse and middle section/bridge/break down whatever you want to call it. I find myself absolutely mesmerised by the raw intensity of the percussive vocals, with the steady pulse of a bass drum and rim-click (someone please correct me if that’s the wrong terminology – drums aren’t my forte) being hypnotic. Now when you separate the dropped sections from the other sections, where a variety of other instruments are introduced such as piano and synth strings, you’d think that they shouldn’t work, or would need some kind of section to blend them. However they go straight from one section to the next and it strangely works – breaking that spellbinding state created from the more mellow parts.

Now for my favourite part to dissect of any song: lyrics. As much as I could easily compose an entire essay on someone’s lyrics, looking at word choices, connotations and chosen devices, I am going to keep this short and sweet like the rest of my review. There are a couple of areas I wish to highlight though. Me being me I am extremely fascinated by the biblical and somewhat apocalyptical married with typical blues narratives such as the hook regarding “black dog is following me”. Word choices are so imperative to making or breaking a song, and Elias Kopp’s vivid imagery of “we’ve been roaming through the badlands/see the zombies in line” followed by my favourite line from the whole song “Killing spree is just a way of life/beautiful by design”. It’s just so evocative and plays with the imagination perfectly!

I know this was short. But I like to think of it more like concise. As much as I know you’d all hang on every word if I decided to write an essay I will not inflict that on you…well at least not this time.

Listen to the song yourself below:

Until next time,
Rebel Yell

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