I feel unhurried
August 11, 2019 1:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for songs like Donna Summer's I Feel Love - songs where the instruments are in a big hurry and the singer is no hurry at all. The tension between the two is really striking. But I can't think of a single other song with that quality! Any suggestions?

Bonus cover by Venus Hum for your trouble.
posted by Tehhund to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Some of Philip Glass's Songs From Liquid Days are like this, such as Freezing, sung by Linda Ronstadt.
posted by misteraitch at 1:44 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]

Bjork has lots of great disconnects where the music is steady but she sort of wanders off, and in the best possible way. A short list of examples:

Pagan Poetry
Possibly Maybe
All Is Full Of Love
posted by mochapickle at 1:55 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]

Army of Me - Björk
posted by oceanjesse at 2:03 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]

The Sparks album No. 1 in Heaven is an album ia similar style to "I Feel Love" and even produced by Giorgio Moroder.
posted by SansPoint at 3:03 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]

The choruses of Talking Heads - Crosseyed and Painless.
posted by Beardman at 3:10 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]

This makes me think of the 90s pop-punk band the Smoking Popes. The music is standard speedy punk, but the singer is more of a crooner.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:15 PM on August 11 [4 favorites]

There's probably an even better example than Brakhage in Stereolab's huge oeuvre, but their vocals are always really laid-back even when the instrumentation is busy (if not uptempo).
posted by Beardman at 3:21 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]

Kings of the Wild Frontier - Adam & the Ants
He Was a Big Freak - Betty Davis
Doot Doot - Freur
The Crippled Lion - Mike Nesmith (maybe)
Across the Shields - Torche
They Don't Want Me - Wall of Voodoo
posted by rhizome at 4:04 PM on August 11

Smoking Popes - Rubella and Need You Around

About half of the album those songs are on (Born to Quick) is written to hit the idea from your question, with fast punk instrumentals and languid torch-song vocal deliveries. (On submission I see that kevinbelt suggested the same band!)
posted by Polycarp at 5:38 PM on August 11

Brian Eno, Glitch
posted by dobbs at 6:11 PM on August 11

I'm not sure, but maybe Sinnerman by Nina Simone has a little bit of the vibe you're talking about.
posted by Transl3y at 6:12 PM on August 11

I Feel Love was produced by Giorgio Moroder, and I feel like a lot of his music has that quality to it, both his own stuff and the stuff he produced for other people. From Here to Eternity is a good example. I can't think of any other specific songs offhand, but they've all got a similar feel to them.

Patrick Cowley was another great producer of that kind of thing, and he worked really well with Sylvester, the Queen of Disco. It might be too peppy to fit the bill exactly, but You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) is probably worth checking out.

Also, this may not be at all what you're after, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't mention another disco song, Stud by Amanda Lear, just for her delivery. "He's too tough for love, too butch to cryyyy..."
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:15 PM on August 11

van morrison's the way young lovers do has some frenetic orchestration while the lyric is delivered pretty languidly. similarly, the lyric is a calm waver between (mostly) two tones in leonard cohen's teachers while the guitar picking is rapid and intense.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:18 PM on August 11

There's probably a lot to mine out of LCD Soundsystem:

Losing My Edge
Us V Them
Dance Yrself Clean
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:59 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]

Oh, Eno & Cale - Spinning Away
posted by STFUDonnie at 8:34 PM on August 11

Arto Lindsay has a few songs like this.
Ilha dos Prazeres (video nsfw)
Grain by Grain
Each to Each
Complicity (for the second half anyway)
posted by hydrophonic at 8:35 PM on August 11

When the song 'I Feel Love' first came out, some music critics at the time mentioned the influence of the German band Kraftwerk on the repetitive synth textures. 'The Model' & 'Computer Love' are examples of some of the kinda disco-ish dance songs that that they sometimes do. Their vocal pacing is also rather idiosyncratic.
posted by ovvl at 8:42 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]

The rhythms don't quite sync up until the end of Here Come the Warm Jets, also by Eno.
posted by Rash at 9:11 PM on August 11

Portishead has some pretty intense tracks with Beth Gibbons always sounding like she's sitting back taking a few extra puffs off her ciggie before belting out her lines. Particularly on their 3rd album, which doesn't sound too much like the classics the band was known for. Check out something like The Rip, especially the build up from about the 2:00 - 3:00 mark.
posted by mannequito at 10:43 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]

Everything But the Girl's Walking Wounded has a similar feel with mostly hectic backing beats and silky smoooth vocals.
posted by mdrew at 2:22 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]

You might want to be searching for motorik beat in general, which informs krautrock, Eno and early disco like Moroder/Summer. Motorik basically means insistent 4/4 drums, often with more cosmic vocal lines that lag behind.

"Oh Yeah" by Can and "Hero" by Neu would be canonical examples. Portishead's The Rip is an excellent recent example.
posted by bendybendy at 10:04 AM on August 12

Ooh, I've got a perfect one: Instant Love, by Sylvia Love. Great song! And definitely that mix of frenetic instrumentation with laid-back vocals.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:34 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]

Oh sorry! I forgot that the video I linked for Instant Love might by NSFW, depending on how your workplace might view a slideshow that includes pictures of men and women in skimpy 70s swimsuits.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:06 PM on August 12

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