Magpie – Fassine (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

It is interesting that speaking of this song, taken from the forth-coming album Forge,  vocalist Sarah Palmer described it as being, “About a Magpie-type lover and all that comes with it, luring us into the hope of a beautiful relationship. It’s as close as we could get to writing a pop song on this album!” Interesting because she doesn’t regard this as a pop song. I know genres are subjective and styles change and yes, this is a million miles away from most of the dance-routine driven, production line, focus group tested, landfill-pop currently found clogging up the charts but I guess that is the problem. Magpie, like most of Fassine’s songs, is full of groove as well as grace, is addictive and accessible, gently progressive, and full of hazy hooks and memorable sonics. Sounds very much like pop music to me!

And if in your opinion that still doesn’t make the generic cut then how about a set of lyrics which explores relationships, love and longing and in hindsight regret, all put to slow and tumbling dance floor beats, shimmering shards of guitar and hypnotic electronica? Then you get to Sarah’s voice, a blend of the soft and the sky-scrapping which is eventually joined by addition vocal harmonies to become instruments in their own right. Ethereal but ethereal in a pop song kind of way.

Look, it’s pop. Take my word for it, I’m a journalist, sort of,  I know about such things. It might not be the pop you recognise . The pop being pushed by today’s music business but it is the pop that you deserve, the pop that might even help usher in a new pop era, one where Kate Bush is regarded as nothing less than a minor deity and Damien Rice is her high priest. No? Oh, just listen to the song, I don’t know why I am trying to justify my position to you, you’re not the boss of me!

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