Since I actually physically own this week's song as a single on a compact disc (I bought it on Wednesday), I'm gonna write a little bit about its B-sides first.
Stars And Spit sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a busy street, while the microphone was drunk. It has the same sort of wooziness as a lot of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, particularly in its vocals.
Death Cock is really chilled. Stars and Spit was chilled, but this is catatonic. And it's a waltz. Waltzes are good. Part way through, the music comes to a coda and someone says “That's it”, but the song starts up again and carries on for another few minutes. Maybe they only eventually stopped because their instruments got too dusty.
I always like songs in unusual time signatures. I especially like that Broken Social Scene haven't bothered trying to be cool about it – they even named 7/4 (Shoreline) after its time signature. And parenthesised subtitles are always good.
Like its first B-side, Shoreline is a mid-tempo light-rock-stylee driving song, great for cycling through York in the summer. Each vocal line starts half-way through a bar, so it flows into the next one; the whole thing progresses smoothly. There's even a car's interior in the video – what more could you want from a driving song?
Since it's driven by the rhythm section, it sounds far worse on speakers with crap bass. The melody, however, is held solely by the vocals, led by Feist, accompanied by one of the other fifteen band-members ...a male one. You can tell from the video. The sort of richness in sound you'd expect from a song performed by sixteen people is there; it'd be inaccurate to call Shoreline's sound “layered” – it's more like spaghetti than lasagne.
Nonetheless, there are several reasonably-well-defined categories of noise present: the rhythm section (comprising the driving bass and drums); the vocals; several lead guitars and other guitarage; and lots of miscellaneous other sounds. Most of the noise lives in those last two layers, with the first two holding the song together.
Feist's vocals make the song. It'd be a great song with someone else singing her bits, but her performance adds that extra embellishment that makes it a classic.
And she doesn't even sound like The Pipettes. If you download one track this week, make it Shoreline.
(The other (male) band member is probably Kevin Drew.)