Memorize the City begins with electric guitar jangle, backed with electric organ chords, which is soon joined by hi-hats and then bass as the song gets up to speed. Katie Sketch's vocals are subdued and effortless – she's clearly not setting out to prove anything. The tune is quite simple; it doesn't hurry from one note to the next. This dwelling on one note really drums the words in.
During the chorus the vocals remain subdued, and only occasionally stray from a single, insistent note. The guitar carries the main melody, with the singing and the bass each assuming a different counter-melody.
Coming out of the chorus, the second verse uses a different melody to the first and sounds more like an addendum to the chorus. By half-way through the second verse, the tune has rejoined that of the first verse. Again the lyrics are punched in at the end of the second verse, with almost mechanical determination. Sketch tersely sings "...more. More. More. More." leading into the warm guitar melody of the chorus.
The bridge reassumes the tune of the second verse, as the organ provides an extra melody and the lead guitar hammers out a rhythm very reminiscent of Fingers in the Factories. The guitar, organ and drums build to a crescendo and then subside, giving way to the lead guitar and an instrumental chorus.
Unusually, the instrumental feels more agreeable and has less tension than the sung choruses. Reduced to just the primary melody and without Katie's brooding vocals, it evokes less hostility. To cap it off, there are tambourine shakes and handclaps on every other line, but shrewdly not on all of them. I don't know why, but somehow it seems better that they're absent from the second and fourth lines.
As the lyrics come full-circle, the guitar, organ and vocals combine to lead the song up to its pounding conclusion.
Handclaps. If you download one song this week, make it Memorize. Stay tuned.