Sunday, October 17, 2021

They Might Be Giants Take a More Stripped Back and Smooth Approach on New Single 'Super Cool'

Indie darlings They Might Be Giants, composed of duo John Flansburg and John Linnel have a long and eclectic discography spanning the musical styles of indie, rock, art-rock and avant-pop. 

Suffice it to say, on their most recent outing they've stretched their multifaceted musical muscles once again to bring us a more laid back and simple groove via the single 'Super Cool'.

Over the last few months the band have been steadily releasing singles in a build up to their upcoming album release; ‘BOOK’‘Super Cool’  is the most recent of these singles. 

With little drum, electric piano, bass groove and a splash of sonic colour (via a violin or string like orchestral instrument), 'Super Cool', staying true to its title, is slinky and slightly out of kilter. Interestingly, the orchestral moments within the track have been cleverly used to delineate the different sections of the song. The production is tight and the playing is locked in making for a controlled chaos feel when the aforementioned musical deviations happen.


The track opens with clapping in 4/4 and the aforementioned string-like instruments before the drums come in. The lyrics use the imagery of creeping around a neighbourhood, alongside vivid descriptions of hiding in pockets of time and space to illustrate how much the narrator believes the subject of the song to be too cool for them: "When you come around, I hide my face in hyperspace / When you come around I'm no foot tall against the wall". The narrator's timidness is only broken when they are dancing: "That sweet day I forget it all and stop looking for the trap door / I come back here to remind myself of when I lost it on the dance floor, Super Cool". 


At a brisk and electrifying two minutes and eleven seconds, the track is fairly self-contained; it does what it aims to do and gets out. All in all, 'Super Cool' is a minimal groove that pairs its sparse instrumentation with its themes of social reservation, followed by cathartic release.


Of the four singles They Might Be Giants have released so far leading up to the release of ‘BOOK’'Super Cool' stands out as both the shortest, most minimal and the most post-punk of the bunch. Time will tell whether this will be indicative of the direction the later singles will go down or if this will stand alone as a unique outlier. Either way, the quality of the musicianship and song writing on the track is amazing and definitely worth checking out.


Kenneth Butcher


Image: 'Super Cool' Official Single Artwork 

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