Shimura Curves

Monday, November 30, 2009

Liar, Liar

This was a very early song, one of the more successful attempts at merging Bubblegum Pop with Electronics. Start with a playground chant of a chorus displaying all the classic hallmarks of 60s Bubblegum - double words, repeated phrases, call and response. A simple earworm of a melody, handclaps, tongue-twisting lyrics and then that gear-shifting key-change for the last chorus.

But the song is a lot more complex that it initially seems - it takes a lot of work to make a three minute song move so energetically. Melodies shift from one instrument to another, in fact, two different synths repeat the riff in harmony, like an electronic conversation, before it passes back to pizzicato strings. The whole song hinges on a classic trick - moving from a minor key for the verses to a major for the choruses.

The sounds were layered quite specifically - watch out for the high harmonic ring modulation during verses to create a sense of dis-ease. OH! And one of my favourite pieces of electronic manipulation ever - the garbled and filtered high-pitched bursts of insect noise at about 2:07 emmulating the "ooh, did you hear what SHE did..." breathless tone of the relentless gossip.

The song is, of course, about my abusive, compulsive liar Munchausen Syndrome ex-boyfriend. A lawyer by day, DJ/promoter by night, he lied utterly compulsively about utterly everything, for every imaginable reason - or more often, no apparent reason.* I didn't even know the full extent of it - I was still finding out lies he'd told people about me, years after we'd broken up. The song was my way of dealing with this, really.

*One of his worst - or at least, most upsetting lies: I'd been due to fly back from NY on 9/11 and was stuck in the airport, without any way of contacting anyone. He got so much attention from having a "dead girlfriend" that when I reappeared on the internet, alive, he MADE UP two dead friends in Brooklyn whom he claimed had perished in the catastrophe. He got himself time off work to "deal with this" - even went so far as to organise a benefit night at his club to raise money in honour of them. (Still never entirely found out what happened to the money, if it went to charity, or if he just pocketed it.)

Anyway, if you like bubblegum, have a listen:

LIAR LIAR - 192 MP3 format

WARNING: @haido has just informed me that this song involves LARGE AMOUNTS OF RUDE WORDS. Please do not listen if you are likely to be offended by repeated incidents of the f-word or the s-word.


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