Longshot song identification question
January 27, 2015 10:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an instrumental song I heard while boarding an American Airlines flight a few days ago (one of multiple instrumental songs played with this video). I also heard it in some kind of TV commercial years ago - I think a car commercial circa the 2010 or 2008 Olympics.

Unfortunately, I don't have much ability to describe the song, so this might be a fruitless endeavor, but here goes. The song is entirely instrumental. I think the most prominent instrument is a bass guitar. The melody starts on one low-ish note (wish I had perfect pitch) that repeats for about two measures in 4/4 time, with the repeated rhythm of eighth-quarter-eighth, then it goes up about a minor third for another two measures with the same repeated rhythm, then up another whole step (still same rhythm), but the last two beats of this two-measure part are straight eight notes and the last beat goes down to a whole step(?) below the original starting note, then back to the starting note. Later on, the melody switches to straight eighth notes with each pitch getting two eighth notes, and the pitches change to 1-3-4-3-1-3-4-3, 1-3-5-3-1-3-5-whole step below 1-back to 1 (all the 3's are a minor third above 1, I think). Around the same time that the melody changes, the background percussion also changes - before it was only on the pickup and downbeat, but it changes to be continuous. The song goes on for a few minutes and is rather repetitive. Okay, I'm pretty sure this was a terrible description (and some of the intervals/rhythms I described may not be exactly right), but does anyone have an idea of the song I'm thinking of? Even if you don't know the name/artist, if anyone can find a link to a commercial that used this song, that would be fantastic....
posted by st elmo's fire to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like Nick Drake. I don't think it's him but I haven't heard all his stuff. And his music was used in VW car commercials 15 or so years ago.
posted by Beti at 11:03 AM on January 27, 2015

Can you just say where in the video it occurs, with a time stamp?
posted by spitbull at 11:05 AM on January 27, 2015

Are you saying that there are multiple songs in that video you linked, or different songs played over that same video? If it's the latter, you can contact Smart Cookie, as they were good enough to credit the musician in the video you linked. I'm sure they have a record of other songs they used.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:06 AM on January 27, 2015

An instrumental version of Spoon's I Turn My Camera On?
posted by otolith at 11:15 AM on January 27, 2015

Sorry, I should have been clearer - the video I linked to only has one song in the background, which is not the one that I heard on my flight. On my flight, they were looping that video (the images) over and over with different songs. I'll try contacting Smart Cookie TV, although I suspect they may have had nothing to do with the other songs used by American Airlines.

It's also not Nick Drake or Spoon... I don't think it's an instrumental version of a song that was originally vocal, although I could be wrong about that. It sounded to me like it's more likely an original instrumental.
posted by st elmo's fire at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2015

Longshot suggestion: Jessica. Was also used as theme song on the car show, Top Gear.
posted by Kerasia at 12:24 PM on January 27, 2015

I tried to transcribe as best I could from your description in an online editor. You should be able to click play in the bottom left corner and see if the melody matches what's in your head, which could help jog people's memories.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:03 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

The description sounds kind of like The Black Keys. Maybe a modified version of the intros fromEverlasting Light or Next Girl?
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 1:47 PM on January 27, 2015

Wait, is it the XX?
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:03 PM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

There's a thread on FlyerTalk where they discuss AA boarding music. It's from late 2013 but they seem to be referring to this same video and the song behind the version you posted. There are other threads on boarding music on there as well. Obsessed frequent flyers are probably your best bet for an answer!
posted by spitbull at 4:21 PM on January 27, 2015

Oh and that thread goes well into 2014. It also led me to the American Airlines Entertainment website, (January 2015 page) which lists audio tracks being played on the inflight entertainment systems, possibly including this song?
posted by spitbull at 4:31 PM on January 27, 2015

YES! TwoWordReview got it! Thank you so much!!!!
posted by st elmo's fire at 4:47 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

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