Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Styles council

I heard that Harry Styles solo single on the radio at the weekend. You know the one, where he goes from all gravel-throated Kelly Jones-lite in the verses to helium-powered tenor in the chorus. Sign Of The Times, I think it's called. Anyway, whisper it quietly but I don't mind the Kelly Jones-lite bits. The helium-powered bits about bullets I can leave, if I'm honest.

Thing is, I'm not mentioning Harry in a blatant stab at pulling in readers - I don't think the average Directioner is going to have much time for New Amusements. No, the only reason I even mention this is that, on hearing the song on the radio, I was struck by the feeling that it really, really reminded me of something else ... but I couldn't put my finger on what. And it bugged me for the rest of the day. Do you ever have that feeling when recall is almost within your grasp but it remains just beyond your outstretched fingertips? That's how I felt all day on Saturday.

But then, thank God, it came to me that evening. It's not the whole song that's similar, but there's one particular chord change at the end of the verse that reminds me so much of the end-of-verse chord change in this song... a song which is right up there in my oft-mentioned-but-never-actually-compiled list of favourite songs by anyone, ever.

Whatever you think of Travis, this, my friends, is solid gold.

P.S. If you've been thinking about submitting a Fantasy Cover Version, now's the time to do it as nothing, at present, is scheduled for this Monday. You could jump straight to the front of the queue...


  1. Well thank you Martin - not normally a Travis fan I really like this, had never heard it before. I can see why it be in your favourite song list. Love that guitar break particularly. And 'Sign of The Times' is an excellent single - I do get what you mean about reminding you of this. A lot of respect to Harry for doing his thing, to my ears it even sounds a bit Bowie-esque in places and seems like he's maturing into something interestingly creative and classy - gradually eschewing the boy band tag. By all accounts his performance in 'Dunkirk' was excellent too; I love it when that happens and the doubters are proved wrong, whoever it is!

    1. I've heard the same about Dunkirk too, C, though have yet to see for myself. I love it when a proper career emerges despite, rather than because of, talent show beginnings. As for the song similarity, it's that switch from G to G7 that's the root of it, I think. Apparently Sign Of The Times is about a mother dying after childbirth, so Harry's definitely doing his own thing, escaping those boy band roots. More power to him for that.

  2. I really like that Harry Styles single too. Although to me it sounds like Richard Ashcroft.