Tuesday, 28 August 2012

[Listen] Calvin Harris And Florence Welch: "Sweet Nothing"

Having already teamed up on the remix of Florence + The Machines' number one hit Spectrum, Florence (minus the Machine) and Calvin Harris have once again joined forces to create the dance track, Sweet Nothing. Though produced exclusively by Calvin Harris, the song shares its writing credits between himself and the flame haired Diva.

Taken from the Scottish producer's third (as yet unreleased) album 18 Months, the single will see its digital release on the 14th of October. Expect the occumpanying video- which has already been filmed- soon.

My immediate (well, after 5 listens) reaction to Sweet Nothing is lukewarm, but I'll give my full review when the video is released.


  1. Why must every Calvin Harris track sound the same??

  2. Well this has me torn.
    My love for Florence against my mild distaste for Calvin Harris's repetitive build-ups and chords.

  3. lol! It's weird, as he's got bigger he's become more repetitive.

  4. well let me know which wins out in the end: your love, or your distaste. I'm not sure what i was expecting from this collab, but I'm kinda being weighted to disliking this more so than liking. Perhaps it'll grow on me by the time I review it.

  5. LOL How is that 'weird". That's what always happens with one trick ponies. ;D
    Not that I know who the hell this Calvin is nor his work. Just saying it's pretty common actually for someone to get famous for something and for folks, when they hear more and more of that person, to realize it is but a one trick pony. Especially in today's music bizz that seems to happen a lot?

  6. Ha! I feel the same way.

  7. I am not torn at all and will unabashedly call this boring crap devoid of everything which makes Florence more interesting than the average dance track.( except her voice itself obviously).
    My advice to the dude would be, next time you want to make money of some actual artist, allow them a hell of a lot more input. Maybe just sent them a tired old beat track like that and let THEM come up with something.

  8. He was a real breath of fresh air to me when he first debuted with his album " I created Disco" in 2007. The biggest song from that album was probably "acceptable in the 80s" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOV5WXISM24).

    He carried this memento onto his second album- loved Flashback (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2_qw8O5lf0) and Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w548ZtNooYE.

    After that things went downhill. Imo it was his hit with Rihanna - "We found love"- that marked a turning point in his music. Though I really liked that song, its been since then that the fun and quirkiness seems to have evaporated from his work. I guess this could be because record execs are asking for more of the same, considering how massive that song was, or he maybe burnt out. Who knows...not me!

  9. I guess you have to first be into dance to be able to hear a difference but since I am not at all, it all sounds like generic Dance to me. Every song I think, surely I have heard this before?
    I listened to the first minute of each but the last one I ff every 30 sec or so and found it incredible repetitive.

  10. Now before I get into how i feel about this let me say first off that I am in fact a strong believer that ANY kind of music can be innovative. If one doesn't have a taste for dance music then of course all dance songs will sound the same because for themostpart they all use very similar instrumental programs and synthesizers. But the composition of a songs lyrics (bothwritten and its ability to flow as a melody in itself) is where I feel a dance artists work truly shines just like anyother artist. Now after saying this I actually do like the song! Calvin Harris (now I do not know of his past work before So Close) does somehow make dance tracks that have their own individual sound. I shouldprobablygo further into his discography but I feel the lyrical melodies florence contributes compliment Harris's dance track quite well and vice versa. After hearing this I am very excited for moremusic of this quality and heck of course even better!:D someone has to be the voice of positivity on this website lol

  11. Hey, I was very positive over Charlotte just yesterday. ;D

    I very much disagree with your general statement regarding those not into dance music and everything sounding the same. I was in fact my very point that only something truly individualistic would stand out in that case. That's why though as a genre it is not to my taste at all, there ARE plenty of individual songs I like

    In the case of Harris it is quite the opposite and one needs to really be into the genre to register a difference between him and others.

  12. I fully agree with everything said here- apart from liking the song-yet. I love dance music, and am generally a fan of mr Harris. It's just something about this song isn't clicking.

  13. I have a friend who holds a similar attitude to country music. I can't convince him of any differentiation in the music no matter who I make him listen to; to him it all sounds the same. So I totally understand what you're saying. But I can't say that I agree with allowing yourself to accept that way of thinking.

    I've learnt to give up trying with my friend but I'm not done with you yet! Bottom line: GET INTO DANCE MUSIC, DAMN IT!! Its good for your soul...honest...lol.


  14. With Dance music there is moreso a individualization of character rather than sound so to say, but then again one could say they go hand in hand? Dance artists I feel showcase more personality than passion in their music, whether it be in the ecstatic composition of a chorus or the clever wordplay in a lyric, or an ingenious hook with a great delivery- dance is a tricky playing field for artists. I guess you truly do need to be able to find little pieces in the music to hear it I suppose. Harris's music always has this charisma and quirky nature to it. Most generic music of any kind has no true substance whether it be personality or lyricism.

  15. Dance music is moreso an art of personality, rather than passion which is why I feel a lot of people have trouble connecting with it. When we listen to Diva's we are looking for the pure passion in the notes, country artists instill hardship into their lyrics, Blues singers sing with the pure compassion of the art, and indie is essentially exactly what its called- independent entirely on the artist. Dance music is entire different playing field. Dance is a field where it is less about the Lyrical structure of the song, or the composition of the instruments, and more so conveying a sense of character through the different tones and textures of the music. Its a music where you have to truly pay attention more so to the sound rather than Lyrics (subjective point of view as there are dance artists with AMAZING lyrics). Harris has this quirky and naivety to his music that reallystands out from the generic nonsensical "Dance Pop" thats out nowadays. Artists that release dance tracks like Rihanna or Nicki don't really have much substance of any kind to their music. (Nicki is more of an enigmatic show off because of all the personalities so she is more confusing rather than innovative as a dance/rapper)- I hope this goes through none of my comments have been lately :(

  16. Ack! it did go through! Dang it.

  17. LOL Well clearly you ARE a big fan of Dance music because that was quiet the romantic view there Brian. Both times. :)

    And when I say romantic I mean colored with some pretty rosy glasses.
    Very rosy in fact since you pretty much seem to say the same about dance as one could say of classical music, had you included that genre in you extremely simplified description of the different genres. Somplified to the extend it is flat out ignoring aspects.

    As far as I can tell most dance music is guys playing around with electronically generated sounds and beats etc until it sounds good to them.

    Anyway, considering I liked Bronski beat, Pet Shop boys, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Marina and the Diamonds ( though since she has good lyrics and a good voice I guess by your definition she is not strictly Dance music?), Faithless and Massive Attack ( though these last two are trip hop they most definitely would fall under your description) , I still stand by my words .
    Other than adjust them to it not being his music which sounds generic and boring but I guess his personality being that to me. ;)

    I fail to note any charisma and quirkiness in the now 5 CH tunes I heard. Attributes, I reiterate, I do hear in the listed above bands. So I wouldn't say I am blind or overly biased to the genre.

    But I am enjoying reading such a passionate love declaration for a genre and I by no means want to tear down your love. I am of course only speaking from my own personal taste and views. :)

  18. LOL Yes, I gathered that was how you and Brian were reading my words but like I already explained with examples in reply to Brian, I don't think I am overly biased to the genre, just to, what sounds to me, the generic artists within the genre. Harris 'sound very much represents that to me.

    Even in Country I dislike such artists btw. ;D

    I can honestly say there is not a genre where I don't like at least one or two artists and a couple of songs. Except for "Modern" jazz and " Modern" classical but I don't consider those genres per se..they are sub genres.

  19. I don't think I'll ever change your mind lolnot that I have to nor do you need to like this song nor the artist. It surely isn't the best of either artist. If youwant to see what I mean by quirky or any of his charisma though I do recommend sampling hisalbum on itunes or on youtube. Even if you don't like the music the lyrics are generally hilarious.

  20. I will check out those lyrics and see if that will change my mind but at the moment I fear you are correct in it being highly unlikely I will change my mind on Harris. But hey...never say never right. ;)

  21. It seemed you were attacking the whole genre, but I'm glad we clarified that!

    i thought I'd take brians advice and give it another go. - not that I'm advocating you do- but there is some creativity in there (comparatively to what he has been releasing of late) that I missed. Honestly speaking it has improved my feelings towards it...but not by much.

  22. I like your "romantic view". Its nice to read someone explain why they like something. I find it can enhance my own appreciation of the subject matter.

  23. LOL If I'd give it another go in order to find that creativity as compared to previous releases, I would of course also have to listen to those previous releases


  24. Well I read like 8 lyrics ( really can't listen to more of the music. For real, when you listen to a lot of acoustic, no drums music, your tolerance for electronic beats does get lower. Purely physically speaking I mean)
    and I am afraid I still don't really see it except possibly "Ready for the Weekend". Maybe you have specific songs you mean?

    I guess quirkiness is also one of those things that is very personal. When I think of quirky I think of Kate Bush( in music) or Eddie Izzard and Robin Williams ( in stand up) or Alison Krauss' on stage ramblings. I know many people find those folks are straying beyond quirky and into "weird"

  25. I agree with you, DD. I always enjoy reading Brian's comments.

    Brian, you should consider writing an article for this site.

  26. Hehe I would love to if given the opportune subject and time. c:

  27. On another note in regard to your comment of people messing with sound until something sounds good- wouldn't you say the same can be said of any genre? :)
    I know of many guitarists and pianists that cannot compose nor can they read music but are finely capable of assembling a fantastic melody through pure experimentation.

  28. Really? I would love to know the names of those lucky people, how many times they managed to accomplish a fine melody by experimenting ( not composing, assuming we agree composing means one has something in his head and is using whatever instrument one plays to express that ) on a musical instrument in the course of their lives and some examples please.

    And I in return will show you that even a couple of bluegrassers on the spot can "compose" dance music while waiting for the electricity to come on. Imagine that, they didn't even need electricity! ;D

    Anyway I do believe I used the expression "as far as I can tell"? Indicating that is the impression I get from a lot of generic dance music. Mostly from the stuff I have seen about the way they work in the studio and the way they talk about their "music" and the fact that many of them seem to have a rather short career.

    That's just how I roll Brian.:)
    Not for nothing I love bluegrass and classical music and actually in any area, stuff that needs the combination of talent and acquired skill. I like the thought of people putting in the hard work behind the scenes before they get on a stage and make it look effortless. The impression they "accomplished" rather than "got lucky".

    But I do think there are artists using electronics as an instrument in the same way a pianist uses his piano or a guitarist his guitar. I also think they are more rare in electronic music than in musical instrument music ( for lack of a better term)

    And I agree with Hannah, you should also try your hand at writing an article. As for subject...how about "in defense of dance music?"
    Or "the beauty of Dance music"?
    We have disagreed and agreed I seem to recall on several subjects but I don't recall you waxing quite as poetically as over this genre? Like I said, seems to have your passion and your writing juices flowing. :)

  29. I'm sorry about saying so Opie, but you are very bold with your categoric judgements. I believe there are many strategies to accomplish interesting melodies or even whole pieces. There not many Beethovens nowadays. Beethoven had music in his head, he had whole orchestra playing in his head. The only thing he ever needed was couple sheets of paper with five line staff. As we all know Beethoven was deaf for most of his life but this disability has never influenced his creative activity.
    Of course there are artists who have very same strategy today. They need just staff or instrument to play piece which is already complete in their minds. However I think experimenting is much more common strategy currently. Hours of jam sessions, playing around with melodic motifs - that's experimenting. Guitarists usually record their endless solos when playing alone as interesting motifs can be found in solos. If you have it on tape you are able to listen it one more time and find chord progression, riff or melody which can become a base for new song.
    As far as I know Jimi Hendrix was doing such things all the time. He left miles of recorded tapes. And that's why his discography is getting bigger year after year. There were only 4 albums released during his life and dozens posthumously.
    I watched quite interesting documentary not a long time ago. It's titled "It Might Be Loud". Basically it documents Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White meeting. These guys tell their stories about how they became musicians and composers. And they discuss their creative workflow.
    Here's very instructive teaser:

    Composing many times is based upon experimenting.

  30. I was speaking moreso of local musicians in my area but Im sure I can find some examples.c: As far as more popular artists... this one will sound generic but Mariah his completely oblivious to truly composing. She said it herself that she comes up with harmonies and lyrics out of the blue both in her mind and on the piano (an instrument she can barely play) and gets a musician to help her actually compose it, but most of her material comes from her own imagination, not really a whole lot of thought put in to the actual composition of a song. hmm... who else... Thom Yorke from radiohead from what I know of him has been an open proclaimer of "natural" art in that his music comes purely from his imagination and isn't truly scored or planned. And im not too sure of this last one but Michael Jackson although a formally trained vocalist had absolutely no knowledge of any other form of music. I could be wrong though. :)

  31. LOL we seem to have a miscommunication here. Like you said, she has harmonies and lyrics "in her head".
    And then works them out. THAT is what is called composing as far as I know.

    You seem to have a different view of composing? As some kind of purely technical activity? Perhaps you are simply referring to the act of writing it down in notes on paper?

    What I meant was that I get the impression a lot of these so called Dance "producers" do just that, they "produce" something. They don't start out with anything in their head and in fact they never really have anything.."in their head". They tinker with sound as they go along.

    And I find that does not impress me as I am convinced if you put any Thom , Dick or Harry long enough in a studio at those buttons you will end up with a dance tune.
    But you cannot teach any Thom, Dick and Harry mastery over an instrument and see him come up with songs in most other genre. The fact that the vast majority of skilled musicians never comes up with a good song attests to that.

    I have to say I very much question your statement Jackson had "absolutely no knowledge of any other form of music". In fact, I suspect you did not mean that the way it sounds to me? Because he was a musically very gifted guy and I am sure, even if not trained he knew a lot about many forms of music just from listening to it and say reading about it, talking to other musicians. Jackson most certainly knew what he was doing, knew music thoroughly. If not initially he surely must have picked up a lot from Quincy

  32. First of T. That's me...all bold judgement by nature.I AM what is called in my circles "an opinionated woman" and proud of it. :)
    And I find using that natural gift on blogs etc helps spark conversation ( long as one tries to keep the line of communication open ;D ).
    I might on occassion even be at bit bolder than I really feel about something, just to get that conversation going.

    Regarding Beethoven, actually , unlike Mozart, he was known to do a lot of redrafting. Butthat was the technical part. Indeed, like all the classical composers and in fact most composers of any type of music BUT electronic music, that i have read or seen interviews with or whose bio's I read, worked like that...they had music in their head and tried to get it out. Most knew musical notation themselves, but then again, many did not. (Beegees for instance did not, they just sang it on tape and someone else wrote it out).

    I never claimed btw anything about the music being complete in their head. As far as I know this has been said only with Mozart having been the case and we should I think take that with a grain of salt as well.

    As for that "experimenting"...yes, that is exactly the kind of thing I mean.
    This is only possible thanks to electronics. Because prior to easy availability of recording devices. That kind of experimenting would have been neigh impossible, if alone time wise. Imagine a guitarist just playing along, experimenting and having to write it all down at the same time in order to go over it all later looking for bits that he liked or that "work" AND are original as in not already published.
    Now anybody can think that's really something if they want, I am simply saying..I personally am thoroughly unimpressed by that kind of "experimenting".
    For the above reason, I am more impressed by the combination of skill and talent. And talent is an essential ingredient as it is what separates that person from the masses naturally. Mastered skill is what separates that person from the masses by his own choice and effort.

    I saw that video you are referring to some time ago yes. But here's the thing, how many great composition have come out of the hands of The Edge, and Jimmy Page the last few decades?
    As for Hendricks growing discography. I think that is horrible. He might have considered most of that stuff not fit for publishing. He might have had certain standards for the music he wanted attached to his name

  33. Coming from a musical background and having many musical friends I sort of learned that music actually can be and is for the most part a very technical and mathematical thing rather than just pure imagination, so I guess my whole view on composition and lyricism may differ from others. What I consider a "true" composer or writer is one who is very capable of being able to create or write a harmony or Melody whilst being able to mold together instrumentation and Vocals technically and artistically. A soundboard can be just as much a musical instrument as a guitar. Although the latter may take more practice as it is strummed rather than the press of a button, each sound is as a trademark as is a cord or note. Sounds can go together and can also repel each other. I think that Dance artists have to go through more trial and error in finding what goes together and what doesn't. But seeing as I have never been in a studio with a soundboard I don't know too much about the instrument itself. I have seen one though and I would like to stick to my voice and piano because that was the hottest most complicated mess I had ever seen. :0
    and about the Michael Jackson thing- being young I am not too familiar with his history so I may have been wrong about his musicality but I was informed that he was not formally trained in any instrument other than his voice so I had assumed. :p

  34. Ah, but not being trained formally in any instrument is not at all the same as "having no knowledge of any form of music".

    I think T. gave a pretty good description of what he called 'experimenting' and what I meant with tinkering with sound.
    My point was that I think that is a different process than composing ( as it is generally understood prior to that modern possibility to extensive experimenting available to quite a large group of people.)

    And my reaction to this is that I respect and admire the latter and feel little of either for the former. ( though I have a tad more respect for it when it is done by those who do have actual musical training.)

    Yes, folks, I freely admit..I AM an "elitist" in many areas

  35. I like these two, but only when they are not together. I will agree Calvin is too repetitive just now, its getting old (yawn). Florence sounds lovely and restrained in the verses though, I like this kind of vocal delivery from her. On another note I just got into this group....


  36. Yeah, I know you are sophisticated lady... A kind of woman who's always right. There's no way to prove you might be wrong... Just kidding;)))
    I'm far more liberal if it comes to creativity issues. If people were not innovative and did not experiment we would still be wearing mammoth furs and we would use wooden sticks to prove women they are wrong sometimes;)
    Brian mentioned he saw composing as more technical or mathematical sort of thing. I think it's very true. You've got consonances and dissonances, major/minor scales system, additional scales, musical modes, the circle of fifths, inversion and so on. Whole set of rules. I can compare it to building a toy house with couple different bricks sets. Once you start using one set you will notice the bricks of other sets won't fit. You got to make major adjustments to make it fit. And you have to know how make these adjustments. So knowledge of music theory is essential in this case. If you don't follow the rules whole piece would be a mess. The listener won't be able to understand what it is all about - communication breakdown.
    However it is very intellectual approach. That kind of music comes up from "the head". What about "the heart". I used word "experimenting" but you can read it as "improvising". While improvising you follow the rules instinctively adding something idiosyncratic at the same time. That is not construction venture, that's free flow of music straight from your soul. You just need to form banks to give it proper direction and form a stream. I mentioned Hendrix in my last post. He once said about music: "You can't take scissors and cut out square from the ocean". Having this kind of approach you can see music as an endless ocean... free flow of emotions turned into sounds.
    I don't know which strategy is better, which one brings better final effect - piece of music. I wouldn't diminish improvisation part in creating great piece of art whatsoever.

  37. LOL Of course I am always right. I am woman!

    But all kidding aside. I never meant to imply I am opposed to experiment in all areas. Not even in music. What I do not like is experiment in music of the kind you described in your earlier comment. Let's face it, a lot of dance music is made by people with little general musical knowledge. Technically, historically or of different genre than dance.

    Though I agree obviously that music can be seen as a technical thing...I think first off nobody these days , other than in classical music, composes with all these technical facts in mind. And thank heavens. Much like with falling in love, the reasoning behind it is an afterthought, not something reasoned out in advance.

    Music IS of the heart as you put it. Without the heart, pure technical music, is pointless and meaningless.
    Music came about as an expression of emotion and people listen to it to hear emotion. Without it sales would plummet even more ;D

    Improvising in music most certainly requires knowledge of what you are improvising upon. That is not the same as the kind of experimenting you described earlier. It also requires knowledge of where to go or not to go and when to get back to the base. That is the artistry of improvisation. To not lose sight of yourself or the music.
    And I most certainly never said anything opposing improvisation. I am a bluegrass fan because , like in jazz, they improvise all the time. :)


    Anyway, like I said time and again, I am talking my taste and why I dislike or like something. I am not saying my way is better and the only way it should be done.
    Like I said to Brian, I love reading his passion for dance music and by no means do I say the source of his passion is wrong and should be done away with. I am simply saying, I think Calvin Harris sounds like crap and I do not care to listen to his stuff. And I feel like that about a lot of dance music. But not all. ;D

  38. So, I would call it mutual misunderstanding. I was talking about experimenting but I meant improvisation by that. I don't consider playing around with electronic gizmos very creative either.
    As for Calvin Harris I admit he is highly repetitive. "Acceptable in the '80" is the only track I find acceptable - it's groovy, funny and has aftertaste of the '80. The rest is just booooring. In the terms of dancing (however I think I have wooden legs - Pinnochio syndrome;))) I would rather choose Rolling Stones or other oldies. That kind of soulful rhythms can set afire even my wooden legs.
    Jaysus! Does it mean I'm grumpy old goat? I'm afraid so. I can feel it especially while reading comments on this site. Some people seem to find artist A or artist B the best invention since sliced bread completely ignoring aeon of popular music history. Sad and funny at the same time. But mostly just irritating.
    Discussion with intelligent and sophisticated woman can always make my day;) However argument: "Of course I'm always right. I am woman!" is not exactly as convincing as you probably would like it to be;)))

  39. Oh I don't know, I think many a married man would find it a very convincing argument. ;)
    Though I was thinking more of that supposed female prerogative of simply changing my mind when I find out I am wrong and then acting as if that always was my opinion. And I consequently always was right.

    Anyway, seems we are actually way more in agreement than we thought?
    And yes, me, like you, not being much of a "dancer" probably doesn't help in appreciating the Dance genre.
    Don't feel too bad about preferring the Stones though. I am worse, it's even older music which makes me wish I was a dancer. A few decades older in fact.

    And I also totally get what you are saying about people who think some pop diva today is The Greatest while being clueless of how many greats there have been ( and how poorly many of these idols today measure up against those greats throughout history or even what is also out there today) :)

  40. I got scared! It can't be... Please, don't tell me you can remember Netherlands at the time of Vermeer.

  41. Hahahahahaha I said decades! Not centuries.

  42. I'm beginning to think CH is a one-trick pony...