[Disclaimer: For someone who just decided to write about music, I have no idea what’s the difference between harmony and melody. I don’t even know if I should use them to illustrate my ignorance. Anyway, I wanted to write about this so here it is. This is what I think and is in no way backed by anything else, please take that into consideration before moving on.]
BBC never seizes to amaze me. It generally has good quality content to offer whatever it dabbles in. Recently I came across BBC’s FIFA World Cup 2014 closing montage. Now the montage was good, but so were many others. The brilliant thing about this one was the background song by Woodkid. That’s what BBC gave me this time around.
So, I searched for this song and stumbled upon Woodkid’s album The Golden Age. It is filled with songs similar to Run Boy Run(from the montage) and also has a few songs that have a different vibe to them. Many of the songs have a percussion instrument providing the base, setting the tempo for the whole song. Then on top of that he generally lays orchestral instruments filling up the song almost to the brim. His voice on top of all this is like icing on the cake.
Woodkid is the stage name of Yoann Lemoine. Many people would’ve seen this Frenchman’s work not as a neofolk musician but as a music video director, his most notable works including Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, Taylor Swift’s Back to December and Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die.
Woodkid manages to put all the instruments available to him to good use. He extensively uses drums and other percussion instruments brilliantly in songs like Conquest of Spaces and The Great Escape apart from Run Boy Run. Drums can be seen as fillers, as tempo-setters and as a primary instrument in different songs. One can also hear an orchestra(or whatever part of it) sometimes mixing in with the drums or sometimes standing alone and molding the whole song. Add to this his voice and the french accent that sometimes creeps in and you have a very different sound to his songs. Although you’ll be able to see the similarity in every song the distinctness of each song is also very much clear.
I love songs that are heavy on instruments and I have never been much into lyrics. So this album pretty much hit the target. The instrumental music together with Woodkid’s voice, which is like another instrument, make for the perfect combination. I am not saying that the lyrics are non-existent(Iron has pretty good ones). All I am saying is that I found most of what I look for in a song in this album.
That said, the album is not without its ups and downs. Some songs show the brilliance of the musician in this guy while others bring up kinks in the armor. Some songs are very upbeat while others sound like they’re right down the melancholy alley. But overall the album has a good feel to it, worth a listen if you want to try a new sound. It is worth at least one listen. If not the whole album then at least the songs I have already pointed out and maybe The Boat Song and I Love You.