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Beautiful bittersweet song in B flat minor which makes you think.
on December 23, 2012
I heard a marvelous song on the radio couple of weeks ago which deserves listening to, sharing and praise. The song is Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. It's written in brooding and elegant B flat minor.
Dark, desolate, yearning, forlorn - yet hopeful, persistent and unyielding: this is the essence of B flat minor. Melodies in this key bring to mind dimmed soft light, gray steel, cold white flame and sparkling snow. If music had color, this tonality would be grayscale with rare blossoms of color.
This is why the match between melody, lyrics and video (which you can see on YouTube) in Little Talks is perfect.
The choice of instruments complements nicely the somewhat disturbing, somewhat silly and a very beautiful composition. Trumpets are upbeat, rallying and energetic, at the same time there is something mocking, sinister, and even diabolical about them. Guitars are nostalgic, grounded and tired, but also safe, familiar and protective. Percussion serves very well to punctuate and highlight important beats, encourage to carry on and to mobilize the melody to action at the right places. Soothing vocals with lispy Icelandic accent balance and stabliise the song. Creaking of ship, cracking or ice and background growl of monsters round up the sound canvass.
Animation is a work of art in its own right. There is something Monthy Pythonesque about it. A band of five men is on a quest, in outlandish surroundings, braving hostile elements and faced by nightmarish monsters; they are aided by a mysterious guide who time and again removes obstacles, incinerates menacing black-and-white creatures on their way in a splash of searing color, and encourages the band to carry on. Setting like that yields itself to many interpretations, for example: all of us have such guide of some kind - knowledge, wizdom, faith, ethics. As for the monstrous creatures... most of us have to conquer hairy unexpected unknown things on our paths from time to time.
Beautiful bittersweet song which makes you think.