The increasing use of folk instrumentation and driving bass drum beats has obviously come to the notice of the Ivor Novello winning Gary Barlow.
Recently Barlow has released a new song “Let me go”, and almost as quickly people started to make comparisons with Mumford and Sons, largely due to the instrumentation (banjos and bass drum pounding)
Of course they both share a similarity in musical style to Johnny Cash
I also thought the similarity with Mumford’s “I will wait” was uncanny – thought I’d put it to the test.
It’s true that neither of them are the first to use the 1,4,5 chord sequence (80% of all pop songs use this), but the combination of rhythm, percussion and build to the chorus are uncanny.
They’re both 4/4, with the bass drum on the 1 and 3 beat., around 126 bpm.
Gary’s song is exactly the same tempo as “I will wait”, but it’s in a higher key so it needs pitching down by a tone and a half – other than that its fairly convincing.
According to Digital Spy, Gary has said:
“I’ve always liked folky, acoustic music but I’ve never fully explored it. I turned back time and was listening to Johnny Cash and early Elton John before I wrote ‘Let Me Go’,” Barlow told the Sun. “I’m 42, I don’t want to do urban or dance music.”
On claims his new single sounds similar to Mumford & Sons, he added:
“I love Mumford & Sons – it’s good, English music, but let’s be honest, they got it off Johnny Cash too.”
Since I Saw You Last also features a duet with Sir Elton John titled ‘Face to Face’ and is out on November 25, followed by a tour next year.
The Guardian had this to say:
“Disappointingly constructed using the Mumford & Sons’ formula of dusty “woah, woah, woah” backing vocals, plucked banjo and copious amounts of thigh slapping, it’s a far cry from the glorious Back For Good, or Rule The World or even Sing. Perhaps the worst part of it all is imagining the inevitable performance of it on The X Factor, complete with backing dancers dressed as Marcus Mumford.
Here’s my comparison uploaded to YouTube – it will be interesting to see if by pitch changing Gary’s track, and using a live version of Mumfod and Sons’ song, will the automatic copyright checker miss this.
And hopefully Dave McSherry won’t take this post down – ’cause I’m guessing he’s not a big Barlow fan 😉