Help me identify an indie rock/pop song with two female vocalists.
April 7, 2014 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Heard the song in a restaurant and liked it, but don't have a copy of Shazam. Here's what I could hear / learned:

  • The band sounded like it had drums, keyboard, bass, and guitar. There was a lead female vocalist with a high voice who occasionally dueted with another female vocalist.
  • Seemed to be in 4/4, with a final drum beat on the third beat (though I could wrong.) An "1/8-th note, 1/8-th note, rest, 1/4-note, rest" sequence.
  • On what seemed to be the chorus, you got two electric bass notes, followed by a slightly sustained "waah" electric guitar note, where the "waah" changed every measure. bum-bum-waah, bum-bum-waah, etc.
  • The song seemed to have a long run-time, or to at least break away from the bum-bum-waah structure for a notable bridge.
  • The restaurant was getting its music from Pandora; the mix generally favored modern, Pitchfork-indie artists who were similarly soft. According to my waiter, he'd heard the song in some commercials, and -while he didn't know what it was- he considered it kind of ubiquitous. (Of course, working in the restaurant might have biased his ears.)
posted by Going To Maine to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Possibly Gold Lions by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Doen't have long run time, but it's got that strong snare backbeat drum pattern during the verses and a couple of structural whammies built into the arrangement, and Karen's vox sound either doubled or run through some sort of chorus/trem effect.
posted by cortex at 12:29 PM on April 7, 2014

Response by poster: Alas no. For comparison, I'd say that Gold Lion has a much fuller sound, with a lot more guitar. This song had a beat of a faster tempo, and was relatively spare - not as much as, say, The XX, but leaning in that direction. The drum sound that I'm talking about here could have been a drum machine, honestly - afraid I'm not good with such things. Very regular, but also really the background to the bass line, which to my ear seemed to dominate.

As another point of reference, I can specifically remember that Pandora was playing Stereolab when I entered the restaurant. Of course, that was about an hour before this song came on...
posted by Going To Maine at 12:38 PM on April 7, 2014

How disparate were the female voices? Could it have been Tegan and Sara?
posted by pazazygeek at 12:50 PM on April 7, 2014

Best answer: Maybe kind of a reach, but the bum-bum-waah reminds me of Phantogram -- When I'm Small.
posted by threeants at 12:54 PM on April 7, 2014

Response by poster: I *believe* Tegan and Sarah don't quite have the right tone. They also tend to duet much more than this song did. (It was basically one female vocalist for a while, and then -suddenly- a second female vocalist popped in for a little bit.) I'd also say that most of their songs sound 'fuller' and more up-tempo than this one.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:55 PM on April 7, 2014

Warpaint has four female vocalists and all the instruments you listed, definitely a Pitchfork favorite.

and only one of the girls is usually singing at a time with minor backup vocals from one of the other 4
posted by maleru at 12:56 PM on April 7, 2014

Response by poster: I'm pretty sure that Phantogram song is it! I think that the "aah" vocal from the singer is the sound I was mistaking for a guitar. I'm still interested in seeing other candidates, but I'm reasonably certain that this is the one.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:02 PM on April 7, 2014

Yeah, the bridge kind of sounds like a second singer for some reason (also it totally reminds me of Jesus Don't Cry in a weird way). Actually, a big part of the way I arrived at Phantogram is that in my experience they're a major Cat Power for Pandora.
posted by threeants at 1:04 PM on April 7, 2014

hmm, definitely only one female in Phantogram, I highly recommend seeing them live if you have a chance
posted by maleru at 1:06 PM on April 7, 2014

The Throwing Muses?
posted by vrakatar at 3:24 PM on April 7, 2014

Similar but different is Haim, If I could Change Your Mind

My guess is mostly on Haim the band because they fit the station, not necessarily that song.
posted by bitdamaged at 5:26 PM on April 7, 2014

their song Forever might fit too.
posted by bitdamaged at 5:27 PM on April 7, 2014

Could it be "Make It Up" by The Blow
posted by bluespark25 at 5:35 PM on April 7, 2014

I think it's Crystalised by The xx, but I can't really explain why.
posted by juliplease at 9:23 AM on October 10, 2014

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