The ‘Bad Year’ mentioned in the song title doesn’t seem to have got too much of a hold on this lot, to be honest. This is one of the most relentlessly optimistic songs I’ve heard in a long time. Check this chorus:
"I wake up mornings with my limbs intact/I don’t have money so I don’t get taxed/you are my little bright spot, bright spot, woo!"
I’ve got my own legs, and no money means no tax! How lucky is THAT? These guys really have taken the message about being thankful for small mercies to heart. I guess it might ring a bit hollow if they weren’t putting absolutely everything they had into it. Put it this way, they sound a whole lot more convincing than The Killers claim to be 'Mr Brightside' in that song about your partner can shacking with someone else.
The optimism is genuine and the joy in the song contagious. You get the impression that if you nicked this band’s car a hundred miles from home, in half an hour they’d be saying, ‘this walk back to our home town is going to get us really in shape!’ Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen if you play Edinburgh, Deadline Shakes. For one thing I can’t drive so the theft would be pointless. All I’m saying is, it’s ok to get the train.
I don’t want to be curmudgeonly- the whole thing is undeniably a charming, summery acoustic pop song. Violins, accomplished backing harmonies and piano looping around in the background like swallows in the sky, and for three and a half minutes they do their best to make all right with the world. Personally I like a bit more light and shade in my music, and I would actually have preferred a bit more about this bad year for contrast’s sake, but it’d be churlish not to admit that this song makes me smile.
- Tom Everett
The Deadline Shakes - Bright Spot In A Bad Year is out on Flowers In The Dustbin Records on 9th December. You can pre-order the single now here.