Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Cybronica »

Sorry to see you out, Vom! Good luck with the move.

I thought I was going to have to miss this week too, due to traveling for a wedding this weekend, but I somehow managed to get in despite that and despite almost losing my voice in the festivities. It’s a bit of a deviation for me, but I’m pleased with how it came out!

For context, in the opera world, a singer’s season is auditioned for months in advanced, and then you tend to hear back from all of them around spring. This is particularly true for summer young artist and training programs, which can be highly competitive. The letters saying you didn’t land a spot in the company are ‘affectionately’ called PFO’s, or Please Fuck Off’s, by the singing community. This sort of silly turn of phrase meme helps to soften the blow of not getting a single paying gig, or any scholarships for educational performances, and having to pay out the nose for someone to tell you for a month straight that your regular teacher isn’t worth shit and you should change everything about how you sing because they said so. It’s quite crushing.

My song is from the perspective of a summer program crushing the dreams of most of its applicants.
“It's like opera for toddlers or something.” -furrypedro
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by furrypedro »

I listened 3 or 4 times and would rank the songs as follows. It was difficult to separate them though, it was pretty tight.

Moss Palace
BSS
Mechakarp
Glennny
The Friends
Starfinger
Cybronica
Cavedwellers
Spintown


I think everyone's pushing their game up as we get to the business end of the competition, so we're at the stage now where good songs will be cut. If anyone would like me to expand on any comments I've made, please let me know.


Balance Lost: How to lose friends and alienate people.

BSS: Immediately getting Real Estate vibes from this. Nice hazy, jazzy chords and it's all very tasteful in terms of melody and arrangement. The fuzzy guitars compliment the clean guitars well. There seems to be a fair amount of restraint in this track and I think it's all the better for it. I enjoyed the sunny beach atmosphere. I think a less mulleted solo would suit it better, but then it wouldn't be BSS would it.

Cavedwellers: Generally a pretty good effort, but it has this frustrating habit of starting a line with a promising melody and then resolving in a disappointing way. So while most of it is exactly as it should be I'm left with an unsatisfied feeling for most of the song. Other than that, it feels a little lacking energy and a bit too MOR, but I think it's a couple of tweaks away from being a really solid tune.

Cybronica: That Kirsty MacColl/Prefab Sprout collab that the world never got to hear. This is probably the closest I've heard you coming to anything resembling a rock song, in terms of the dynamics and rhythm. I love the energy and I'm grateful to you for not leaving me as the only person to drop F-bombs this round. Ultimately, though I appreciate the various cool things going on in the arrangement, the production feels lower than the rest of the field here and I worry you might suffer because of that, but we'll see. I envy your ability to belt out vocals and maintain your pitch.­­

The Friends: I almost thought I was listening to Frankie when this came on. It's a very sunny little tune, highly reminiscent of The Beatles or Ben Folds. I love the "aaahs" in the chorus, and aside from the run at the end of the guitar solo lacking confidence it's a pretty seamless production.

Glennny: This has more of the energy that the Cavedwellers one was lacking. I like the darkness in the opening riff and each section brings a new aspect to the song. All of the songs you're involved in this week seems to have a slightly muddy mix, I don't know if it's just me, perhaps a little cut around 400hz might help, not sure. I can hear everything okay, but I feel like I'm listening to a cassette tape, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I love that you often have silly takes on the title. I'm not sure the world needed a song about crushin' 'erbs, but now we've got one and it tickles me.

MechaKarp: Good punky energy to this. Next time I listen I will do so after Cavedwellers instead of Glennny because I think it will do this song a favour. I feel like you've been getting progressively more tryhard with each round so I hope you make it through this round as I'm keen to know where you'll go next round. Additional kudos for the non-standard subject matter/lyrical take on the title.

Moss Palace: I didn't review last round, but I really liked your song last week. The noir-ish, chamber pop is a notch or two below synthpop on my list of fave genres, but it is very much in your wheelhouse and you do a solid job of it here. The melody in the "I feel the crush of your stare" line sounds very familiar. I think this would work equally well as a soundtrack to James Bond or one of the Europe-based Wes Anderson films. When you are on form I think it's almost impossible for the rest of us to compete without performing some serious acrobatics. I think you'll be a shoo-in for this round, and unless one of us pulls of the kind of coup-de-grace that Frankie did last week then the competition is yours to lose from here.

Spintown & Co: Melodramatic power ballads are really not my thing. The lyrics may fall short of creepy but only slightly. The production is clean. I wish I could say more but I get the feeling that the venn diagram of what each of us values in music doesn't overlap very much. Sorry.

Starfinger: The bassline stands out as a highlight in this, the squelchy funk is infectious. I'm always grateful for a lyrical take which veers away from the obvious. There's a great energetic bounce to this and the synths that jump in at the chorus and post-chorus shift the dynamics up a gear, although the arp may be a notch too high in the mix.

Shadows

FBF: I'm certainly glad that this isn't in the running as it would push me down a notch. Generally a solid indie rock tune with some little bits of melodic flare that help to elevate it. I really like the arp when it comes in, but its omnipresence lessens the impact after a while. If you dropped the synth out for a few bars in favour of a different sounding patch I think that would help the sense of movement in the track perhaps. It does sound a tiny bit like your heart's not totally in the chorus delivery, but it's only a minor thing.

Brown Word: This is quite cool, sounds like something that should still be in the competition and if you'd brought this level earlier I'm sure you still would be. The spine of the song is solid, but I really like the atmospheric noises that come in towards the end.

Ujn Corps: This is a pretty good version of UK 80s synth pop, it has that darkness mixed with sweetness that the likes of Depeche Mode and New order had. The vocal delivery is really good in this one too, the way it moves up in register as it moves into the chorus works very well, and the phrasing of the line "all that I can feel and all that I can take" is the hook that sets this apart from the pack. It's little details like that that make the difference between being just another piece of amateur dross and an actual good song. If you were still in the competition I'd rank this in the top 3 at least; it's the one I'll remember most out of all of them.


I second what Sam, said. Sad to see Vom bow out from a musical perspective, but breathing a sigh of relief from a competition perspective.

Good luck everybody!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by frankie big face »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:12 am

FBF: I'm certainly glad that this isn't in the running as it would push me down a notch. Generally a solid indie rock tune with some little bits of melodic flare that help to elevate it. I really like the arp when it comes in, but its omnipresence lessens the impact after a while. If you dropped the synth out for a few bars in favour of a different sounding patch I think that would help the sense of movement in the track perhaps. It does sound a tiny bit like your heart's not totally in the chorus delivery, but it's only a minor thing.
This is a fair review and you make some valid points. Once I received immunity, I kind of petered out on dressing up the arrangement. I started out modeling this after “Bottle Up and Explode” by Elliott Smith crossed with “Kamera” by Wilco and then it shifted into something a little more power pop. My vocal delivery probably didn’t make that shift, hence the underwhelming chorus. I’ll fix this up at a later date. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by WreckdoMelle »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:12 am


Brown Word: This is quite cool, sounds like something that should still be in the competition and if you'd brought this level earlier I'm sure you still would be. The spine of the song is solid, but I really like the atmospheric noises that come in towards the end.
Thanks for the fastest reviews in the West and for the kind words. I completely own my elimination on Factory Reset, my heart wasn't in the challenge and I had equipment limitations; but it also set me free to experiment more than I otherwise would have on the next two songs, this being one. This one was not the usual painful struggle to achieve birth but sort of like a happy offspring instantly popping into the world and then standing still while I put the finishing touches on, which sometimes happens and is always sort of a cool phenomenon. Glad you liked it!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Spintown »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:12 am
Spintown & Co: Melodramatic power ballads are really not my thing. The lyrics may fall short of creepy but only slightly. The production is clean. I wish I could say more but I get the feeling that the venn diagram of what each of us values in music doesn't overlap very much. Sorry.
Oh it's completely meant to be a little creepy. You see this type of thing going on a lot, and it is creepy. The music video will actually comment on it more than the song does, that should be done hopefully Tuesday. I decided to cut that part out of the official entry.

Thanks for doing reviews, and so QUICK! I haven't even listened yet (waiting for the LP), and you've reviewed everyone even the shadows.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by starfinger »

These are mostly all fantastic. Kudos!

* Balance Lost
This is pretty fun. I like the blippy loop. Also the thing about how you
blow and suck at the same time is my favorite part.

* BSS
This is really good. The chorus is great and reminds me of some band of
horses song. Yeah excellent.

* Cavedwellers
This is a solid jangly song, like something from 90's college radio. I
particularly like the drums.

* Cybronica
I was getting ready to say I liked showtunes, and then the little synth part
comes in and everything is even better. Yeah fuck off indeed! This is really
awesome.

* The Friends
This is another one that sounds like a classic. I like the jaunty positivity
of the music contrasted with "crushing them all". I'd like to hear the lead
vocals less saturated, but only for comparison sake.. these are not bad or
anything. Yeah it's an awesome song.

* Glennny
I love that opening guitar riff. and then wow the music is like a journey through all
these variations of surf music or something. It's just a thrill to listen to
this. Great great great arrangement. The mix leaves a little to be desired.

* MechaKarp
This is really cool. It also sounds like some 90's classic. It should be in
a skateboard video. Awesome actually. Good job!

* Moss Palace
Major Portishead vibes in those opening sounds, but it definitely is its own
thing. Yeah holy crap this is good.

* Spintown
I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn't like sincere vocals about dumb
things, but this is a little extra-cringeworthy. This is a pretty good
arrangement. I have weird feelings about this song.

* Frankie Big Face
This is great and i particularly like the synth arp. Not 100% on the guitar
solo.. felt like it hit notes i didn't want it to! But yeah it's super.

* Brown word
I think the guitar is slightly too loud vis-a-vis the vocals, but they sound
great! The guitar and the vocals do, I mean! I like this song! I love the
atmospheric sounds.

* UJN
I like that big crackin snare sound. I'm a sucker for synths. The warble in
your voice is excellent. This is too good actually. I would listen to this a lot.
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"I would 100% nominate you for the Supreme Court." -- frankie big face
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Spintown »

starfinger wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:28 am
* Spintown
I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn't like sincere vocals about dumb
things, but this is a little extra-cringeworthy. This is a pretty good
arrangement. I have weird feelings about this song.
I'll take cringeworthy. Considering the topic I picked that's a given.

Thanks for doing reviews, and again, so quickly.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by BoffoYux »

A heads up- I’m on vacation and will not be able to host Mondays LP. I’ll be back for next Monday’s round.

See you on Monday 6/17!

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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Siebass »

BoffoYux wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:37 pm
A heads up- I’m on vacation and will not be able to host Mondays LP. I’ll be back for next Monday’s round.

See you on Monday 6/17!

Tommy G
Have fun, Tommy, we'll see you when you get back, presumably tan as a ripe coconut.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Siebass »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:12 am

MechaKarp: Good punky energy to this. Next time I listen I will do so after Cavedwellers instead of Glennny because I think it will do this song a favour. I feel like you've been getting progressively more tryhard with each round so I hope you make it through this round as I'm keen to know where you'll go next round. Additional kudos for the non-standard subject matter/lyrical take on the title.
Thanks for taking the time to listen and review! I'm not sure if getting more tryhard is good or bad, but I definitely feel like I need to increase my song quality as I have survived progressively longer. I took a peek at your lyrics and have yet to listen (planning to at the listening party tonight), but I'm excited to hear the rap diss track. Fortunately on work travel now so no issue with listening to loads of cuss words with no 4 or 7 year old to pick up on them.
starfinger wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:28 am

* MechaKarp
This is really cool. It also sounds like some 90's classic. It should be in
a skateboard video. Awesome actually. Good job!
Spot on, my original idea was a 90's-style ad for Orange Crush, so that's right in the ballpark of what I'd expect, some orange-toothed skaters popping tricks and chugging the 'crush. If I ever got a track on some future remaster/remake of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, I might immediately die from joy as I loved all those tracks, so there's that too. Thanks for taking the time to listen and review.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's new songs tonight!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Spintown »

BoffoYux wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:37 pm
A heads up- I’m on vacation and will not be able to host Mondays LP. I’ll be back for next Monday’s round.

See you on Monday 6/17!

Tommy G
I'd been waiting to listen to the songs at the LP, so I guess it's now time to go listen. ;p Also, don't fall out of the boat Tom.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by furrypedro »

Siebass wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:09 pm
... I'm not sure if getting more tryhard is good or bad...
I meant it as in you're upping your game each round. Maybe tryhard wasn't the right word to use since people often use pejoratively.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Siebass »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:32 pm
Siebass wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:09 pm
... I'm not sure if getting more tryhard is good or bad...
I meant it as in you're upping your game each round. Maybe tryhard wasn't the right word to use since people often use pejoratively.
No worries; thanks again for taking the time to review! I definitely have been working hard to increase the quality as we go, as there are some real heavyweights here and I have to run pretty hard to try to keep up/catch up.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Aciniform Artifice »

I'd just like to state how happy I am not to be a Nur Ein judge -- for many, many reasons -- but particularly this week because I don't have to spend hours analyzing all of these songs to make sure they actually meet the challenge (as opposed to, say, just having a run of descending/ascending chords, or having the bass note AND top note of each chord moving simultaneously).

I have listened to all of the NE|XIX songs so far but haven't done any reviews because there are just too damn many in these first few rounds. But just stopping by to say hello and share a few thoughts.

Cybronica is fantastic this week (and one of the entries that very obviously fulfills the required challenge with no additional analysis required) -- kind of a change of pace for you, but I dig this style; makes me think of a 60s soul singer doing a late-70s-style pop song a little later in her career.

My top three would be rounded out by Balance Lost (this song neither blows nor sucks at the same time) and Moss Palace (I loved how you clearly took some inspiration from the 007 theme without being derivative of it -- and came up with a vibe halfway between here and there).

Furthermore: y'all are lucky that Frankie had immunity since this challenge was basically built with him in mind. As for the other shadows, Brown Word and Ujn Corp I'm glad you chose to continue participating, since each of you have done a song that was among my favorites in at least one of the previous rounds.

NUR EIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Aciniform Artifice »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 3:12 am
The Friends: I almost thought I was listening to Frankie when this came on.
I thought the exact same thing, which is kind of what I meant when I said this challenge was custom-built for FBF. It's such a characteristic part of so many of his songs, this one almost sounds like a cover of one of his.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by frankie big face »

starfinger wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:28 am
* Frankie Big Face
This is great and i particularly like the synth arp. Not 100% on the guitar
solo.. felt like it hit notes i didn't want it to! But yeah it's super.
I assure you those are all notes you *needed.*
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by frankie big face »

Aciniform Artifice wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:36 am
Furthermore: y'all are lucky that Frankie had immunity since this challenge was basically built with him in mind.

NUR EIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Heh, seriously. This is so in my wheelhouse that I snuck the same chromatic line into the second half of my chorus without anyone even noticing! :D

Chords: (F A7 Dm Bbm)
Line: [C C# D Db]

Appreciate you reviewing those of us in the shadows this week!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by reve »

starfinger wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:28 am
* UJN
I like that big crackin snare sound. I'm a sucker for synths. The warble in
your voice is excellent. This is too good actually. I would listen to this a lot.
Synth-sucker note: I had _hoped_ to do this as a 100% Casio-based endeavor, but the drums are a Yamaha RX-21. I was _gonna_ sample them into a Casio SK-1/5 to keep it Casio but got lazy. Everything else is Casio CZ-series synths because... 1985.
-- reve mosquito.
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Spintown »

I don't think I'll have time for reviews, but after a few listens I ranked them in order of personal enjoyment. These rankings don't take into account the use of the title or the challenge. To me, the top half & the bottom half were all pretty close together with 1 exception. The only person who really put distance from themselves & everyone else was Starfinger. Wasn't even hard to pick my favorite this round. Well done.

Starfinger
Balance Lost
Berkeley Social Scene
Moss Palace
Frankie Big Face
MechaKarp
The Ujn Corporation
Brown Word And The Big Whine
Cavedwellers
The Friends
Glennny
Cybronica
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by HeuristicsInc »

These are getting harder to rank. I feel like this week’s entries are high caliber - nothing here was bad!

Balance Lost - i like the tongue in cheek of this and the lyrics made me laugh a couple of times, but it is very vulgar. Too much for me, sorry. The self deprecation is good though.


Berkeley Social Scene - the long chords on the prechorus are great. Not totally sure about all the vocal lines and the lyrics are a little thick.


Cavedwellers - this is pretty catchy. Not sure if i follow the lyrics really. I like the guitar sound.


Cybronica - opera sounds stressful. This is a different kind of sound for you? I do like the little blippy synth parts that come to the forefront here and there. I can see why the swears are used here.


The Friends - this sounds like a beatles outtake. I think this is the song of yours i enjoy the most so far. I’d sort of like it if you held your ground a little more on parts like “me and i” before moving to the next thing.


Glennny - i really dig the verse part 1, but then you lose me a bit on part 2. I’m back with you on the chorus. The whole thing sounds a bit muffled, but i guess this isn’t productionfight.


MechaKarp - i like how you worked brand names into the lyrics. And the whoas in the chorus are pretty great. I like the spoken asides but you might want to work on making them more in the same sonic space as the other vocals.


Moss Palace - ooh love that pinky synth bit that comes in the intro. Love the sultry vocals and music combo of this. This has the sound of a james bond theme and that is cool. Love it. That waily synth is also super cool.


Spintown & Company - be careful of self-portrayals on the internet, lots of dudes can use female looking skins and you would never be the wiser [the more you know]. The breakdown with just piano works well. And the weird al vocal stylins work well in this song.


Starfinger - great bass. The chorus kicks it up a notch like it should. I love everything about this. I also really enjoy the alternate take on the title and the amusing jokes about car parts.


Frankie Big Face - your rhymes are excellent. And the part where the pianoish part goes up and down is great. The vocals are great - this would have been rated well if i had to rate it…. Oh that is a nice solo too.


Brown Word and the Big Whine - odd that cargo shorts doesn’t rhyme with anything. I oddly like the weirdness of the ending. The weird echoes make me happy.


The Ujn Corporation - i dig the synth intro, and actually all the music is primo. I would love if the vocals were a little stronger to go along with the music, but i suffer from the same problems. Interesting choice to not put the title in the lyrics?

It’s interesting to me - ujn had a very strong song this week and brown had a very strong one last week. For some reason the eliminated bands really shine the week after…
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by Spintown »

HeuristicsInc wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:28 pm
Spintown & Company - be careful of self-portrayals on the internet, lots of dudes can use female looking skins and you would never be the wiser [the more you know]. The breakdown with just piano works well. And the weird al vocal stylins work well in this song.
Oh I assume most female characters are dudes, and I almost had a spoken outro included that addressed that. In the end I left it out of the entry, but added it to the music video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Q-t-4RiE4

Thanks for the reviews!
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Re: Nur Ein XIX Round Four- "Crush Season"

Post by glennny »

Everybody is awesome! (Balance Lost is consistently my favorite, but I'm a super fan)
Sorry I haven't been doing reviews.

I stumbled on this:
The Starfinger opening notes reminded me of Loverboy-Turn Me loose. So I had to go hear it again. Accidentally, the 2 songs were playing simultaneously. It was kind of an awesome mash-up. Same key, both at 121bpm as I clock them. Is it the isolated bass sample from Loverboy? The Starfinger line gets way cooler as it progresses. Anyway, I thought someone might enjoy that.

Cheers!

-glennny
Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
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