Life is at its most fulfilling when it is challenging. It needs to be full of the unexpected and the new. Of wonder and possibility. It needs to take us to new places and allow us to see the world in different ways. And the same is true of music, music that matters at least. The comfortable and familiar might be, well, comfortable and familiar but that also makes it a dead end. A pleasant one admittedly, but a dead-end none the less.
Services make music which is certainly about the challenge, both for them as music makers and as the listener as a receptor for their creations. They describe their music as “an experiment between entrancing sonic choices and danceable rhythmic content,” which sums things up perfectly. One Velvet Morning is full of accessible grooves but the dance that it takes you on will never quite heads in the direction that you expected.
There are songs, such as Bedroom Bends, that seem to conform to more conventional indie templates…but only just, and at the other extreme the title track exists in a more arty, post-rock place. The Librarian is forged from broken sonics and musical shards whilst embracing smoother and more seductive sounds too and Might As Well Do It is a juxtaposition of brooding grooves along side collages of fractured noise.
Experimental? Very much so, yes. Odd? In places, sure. Trailblazing? Absolutely. Albums such as One Velvet Morning might not find mass appeal but they do help define, expand and explore the rules, pushing musical norms right up to the point where music turns into something else, where it becomes more about art than the act of song. But such experiments trickle down into the mainstream. They change what is possible, alter what is acceptable, broaden minds and expand horizons. When was the last time a three minute pop song managed to do any of that?