Years from now, it would be remiss of historians to talk about the 2010s without mentioning the significance of Vine. While the app was short-lived, it was a beacon of the times. Some capitalized on the app, using it to jumpstart their careers – whether it was becoming a writer for one of the best shows on television or signing a record deal– others just had fun with it producing funny, sometimes overwhelmingly obscure, six-second videos that gave a glimpse of their personality. I became obsessed with this song that user Matt Post would use frequently in his vines entitled “Chinese New Year” by Sales and since Friday marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year, I thought it would be fun to make it SOTD, available on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.
Sales is made up of singer/guitarist Lauren Morgan and guitarist/programmer Jordan Shih and the duo produce dreamy pop ballads that take elements of lo-fi chillwave with 60s girl group tendencies. The result is a lush sound that while minimal packs a shot of emotion that is intoxicates your feels. The song “Chinese New Year” is no exception.
The song kicks off with a trebly bass line that is a little reminiscent of the bass line in “Evil” by Interpol, only less somber. The bass line is accompanied by a drum machine snare beat and within seconds, Morgan’s angelic voice comes in accompanied by another guitar track that harmonized with the bass line and dabbles in and out of obscurity. It’s these little nuances in layering that creates a dreamy texture for the song. All the instrumental pieces are essentially not special, but when combined together, create a moving piece even in its simplicity.
Morgan’s voice coos in the front ground and comes off as more Bohemian. Sophie B. Hawkins floats off the drum machine and guitar riffs but never drifts too far away. When the second verse comes in, she adds slightly more emotion in her voice, and the added hi hats embellish it further making it feel fresh. The duo make it so easy to get caught up in the music that you may not realize that the first and second verse are exactly the same lyrics. It’s a testament to the chemistry that Morgan and Shih have in establishing verses that, while are the same lyrically, are tonally different, even if ever so slightly.
In a way, Vine is very similar to the essence of Sales as a band. Their songs are short, sweet and simple but just like those six-second videos they’re still able to pack in a ton of emotion. I literally fell in love with this song via six-second clips, if that’s not great songwriting, I don’t know what is.
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