Just listening to the last 12 months of pop charts, funk looks like it’s back in town. with tracks like Uptown Funk and The Trouble with Us employing slap bass and rhythm guitar to create a refreshed vintage sound, labelled as “Future Funk”. So with the past becoming the present, it seems only right that the fat synth glory and screaming sax solos of the ‘70s ought to be making a return, right?
M83 has heard your demands, and have developed their strengths from their 2011 hit Midnight City to create a ripper new single that simultaneously feels authentically vintage, and yet so contemporary. Do It, Try It opens M83’s album “Junk” and it is an awesome single. The honky-tonk piano, fat synthesizer lines, massive drum beats, ‘80s party anthem-style vocals; it all adds up to a mega track that’s plenty of fun, on and off the dancefloor.
M83 hits you straight up with its honky-tonk piano, firstly sustained, then with its syncopated riff. The vintage vibe hits you hard. The vocal melody and imperatives to “Do It, Try It” are so simple but catchy. There’s no sign of any drums or bass for a good 30 seconds, yet the piece is undeniably building up to a dance anthem banger.
With the signature six note turn around on the piano, the piece bursts into its glorious chorus of synthesiser heaven. Padded chords, a four on the floor kick drum rhythm, plenty of thick bass and vocals literally singing of <a dance on repeat, a trance on a hard beat>. Another rendition of the six note turn around, and we emerge into the post-chorus, and powerful slap bass takes the foreground, and it powers along beautifully.
A shorter second verse, but we now simultaneously enjoy both the funky honky-tonk riff with the slap bass colour. There is no sign of <a broken song> yet, with the rhythmic feel and kick drum driving the steady beat forward.
The chorus returns with a new harmonic ending, extending our <trance>, before finally breaking down the song to its block chord piano and vocal ballad style. With the hints of synth bass and a pulsing bass drum, even the break down suggests that the dance element of this song is not dissipating. With the return of the four on the floor, and some call and response with the “Do It, Try It” interjections, the piece builds up to what should be a final mega chorus. But M83 are having none of it…
They break down furthermore, utilising a watered down version of the rhythmic honky-tonk riff and adulterated chorus vocals. It feels like the glorious dance anthem has been lost to the wild beasts of the night, in a quasi-Thriller nightmare. (This may be a good time to link the band’s unnerving rendition on Jimmy Kimmel last week…)
And suddenly, the classic semi-quaver snare drum build-up sneaks up on us, and we know we have not lost all hope to the cruel monsters of the evening. And as we finally emerge from the gloomy bridge, arpeggiated synths run wild, with the synth pads and thick acid bass sustaining an awesome instrumental interlude. The vocals quietly demand us to <heal me up> and <turn me on>, but cannot escape right to the final seconds the wish for us listener to just “Do It, Try It”.
And with a classic wash out with ample reverb, the dance hit has come and gone in a comfortable 3.5 minutes. It is compact but provides ample of musical goodness from such simple material.
Yes, the saxophone has not made the cut for this track, but there is plenty to enjoy in the poppy honky-tonk piano part, slap bass lines, massive synth chords and four-on-the-floor drum beat. The ebb and flow of the track from its loud, glorious choruses, to the thin, intimate bridge looks to be a remixer’s heaven, with plenty of opportunity for remixes of all styles. The vocals aren’t virtuosic, but they’re catchy nevertheless and the production have added plenty of effects to keep the melodic line interesting.
M83 have hit the mark at producing a high quality single, and have drawn on very Daft Punk electronic style. Do It, Try It is merely one of 15 songs on their album “Junk”, and with other ripper tunes like Go! and Solitude, I would strongly suggest you all check it out for your crude synth desires.
This was originally published with Radio Monash here : http://www.radiomonash.net/2016/04/28/vintage-done-right-m83s-latest-album/.
Jared loves to share his passion for music and artists through music reviews and commentaries. These include a selection of reviews written for community radio stations 3MBS and Radio Monash.