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Friday, June 10, 2011

Hunters & Collectors - True Tears of Joy

Great pop songs are very simple to achieve in principle. Listing the requirements on paper, it's easy to think "how hard can that be to do?" And yet, so few actually achieve it, because in reality, of the 50 things that could make a great pop song, hitting 5 or even ten just ain't good enough.

And then you get those moments where every box gets ticked. And in many cases it's not by the top-selling or most-played artists on tv or radio. In this regard, Australian artists really hit the ball out of the park when you least expect it.

The first time heard Hunters & Collectors was on one of Donna's radio mixtapes. Must have been around 91 or 92. Back then radio was a platform for discovery (much like the Interwebnets is for some these days, but in a different way).

When I eventually caught a glimpse of the band in press photo, I remember thinking that it was a side project for Crowded House. Of course it was Mark Seymour's resemblance to House bass player Nick Seymour that confused me – and given that they're brothers, well... you understand my mistake.

ANYWAY... they had a handful of hits in the Aus, couple of good albums, a reputation for being a top live band – Seymour even scored a few ARIA awards.

But True Tears of Joy is a gem of a tune, partly because it features all the ingredients of a great pop song: Strong opening motives, prechorus and hook; excellent vocal performance, quietly confident musical arrangement...

And when it came to the video they chose to go simple and unsophisticated. This is still one of my favourite songs to play at home when I'm thinking about where to take life to next... and if I ever open a songwriting and performance school, this will feature in the curriculum.

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