One outcome of the pandemic is the number of artists and bands who have been forced to take another approach, whether it is streaming live shows or, as in the case of Norway’s Shuffle Baby, producing and recording their own music.
Describing themselves as an “independent pop trio” they release their first self-produced song on July 31st ‘Over It’ following an involuntary home studio exile due to the virus.
Shuffle Baby are from Bergen, and consist of vocalist Jonas Hellesøy, producer Erlend Aarli, and drummer Truls Prestegard. Despite being “an independent band” (presumably meaning they are unsigned) they have picked up over 300,000 streams on Spotify. They have previously released several singles, and a debut EP, ‘Posers’, in 2019.
At first glance they look like they could be a boy band, then the second glance tells you they’re perhaps a tad too old for that and in any case they play a “retro brand of flashy synth pop…heavily inspired by the most shameless dance pop, soul and electro funk of the 80s.” The sort of thing you’ll see on TOTP2 on BBC4 many nights of the week (they’re up to 1989 now).
Being temporarily laid off their day jobs or forced to suspend studies, they suddenly had plenty oftime but couldn’t use it touring or recording new music in high end recording studios. So theygathered recording gear they had, and set up a home recording setup in the vocalist’s living room, the DIY-approach turning out to be blessing in disguise as it lead to a major creativity boost and fresh new music.
‘Over it’ is a synth-driven high energy pop song, blending a love for modern pop music with retro 80’s dance pop. The song “chronicles the conflicting feelings of cutting off someone (or something) that are equal parts addictively sweet and lethally toxic.”
After the first couple of bars, when I could picture Stevie Wonder getting ready to sing, I didn’t think I was going to be sold on it but I got over it and eventually I was. It definitely gets your feet moving, the harmonies are great and it’s what I can imagine John and Kayleigh bopping to on the drive home on Forever FM in ‘Car Share’.
Just a couple of things though, guys. That synth bass is too heavy; it bores through you and into your groin like a dentist’s low-speed drill. The repetition of ‘f***ing’ isn’t necessary, it goes against the grain of the song and it won’t get you played on the BBC. And the image of someone covering their butthole with their pinky finger isn’t exactly endearing!
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