Have you ever experienced a spine-tingling, goose bump-inducing, exorcist-requiring piece of music? Well for me, a song will generate such a response if it has one or more of the following three things:
- Harmony. The more the better.
- Key change. This includes the build-up, and again, the more the better.
- A stripped back bridge that leads into a killer final chorus
Apart from these 3 magical musical moments, a damn good beat drop can transform you into an ethereal being (Never Be Like You – Flume), a sick guitar solo can bring you to your knees for an epic air guitar performance (Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen), and an enthusiastic ‘Aw yeah!’ can be won from a soul-gripping intro (Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker…or is it Nick Murphy?).
Just as Shrek’s ground-breaking wisdom reminds us, good songs are like onions. Onions have layers. Songs have layers. We have layers. You get it?
The well-crafted layers of good songs have the power to peel away at our layers, reaching our hearts via our ears.
And just like onions, songs that cut through our layers might even trigger a tear or two.
Some songs that loosely fit the criteria:
- Shooting Stars – Bag Raiders
- Love On Top – Beyoncé
- You’re The Voice – John Farnham
- Go F**k Yourself – Two Feet
- Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
- What Went Down – Foals
- X Gon’ Give It To Ya – DMX
- Thunderstruck – AC/DC
- Flume (Say it, Smoke & Retribution, Drop the Game, Holdin On…)
- Elephant – Tame Impala
- Monday – Matt Corby
- Bloodflood pt. II – Alt-J
- Retrograde – James Blake
- Hallelujah – The Rubens
- Towers – Bon Iver (or anything by Bon Iver)
- I Will Always Return – Bryan Adams (yes, from Spirit)
- In Harmony – Àsgeir
- Latch – Disclosure
- Like Real People Do – Hozier
- Circle Of Life – Carmen Twille, Lebo M. (No shame)
- Hold – Vera Blue