If there was an award for the most memorable piano part of the year, Finland based Indie-Pop duo Since November would win in a heartbeat with their debut single ‘Star System’ released in late June this year. The riff is wonderfully unique in that it is flashy, sad and uplifting all at the same time- resulting in an effect that is rare, but undeniably effective.
Despite ‘Star System’ being Since November’s first release, they are far from inexperienced and it shows. The group’s principal songwriter, Tomi Mäkilä has already been a key member of three established bands (Montevideo, Magenta Skycode and The Crash), but is joined this time with only one other member- Jukka-Pekka Flander who contributes drums and rhythm programming. Jukka’s influence proves to be integral throughout ‘Star System’ as the drum patterns are diverse and driving, yet used sparingly to compliment and build sections of the track.
The vocal melodies are infectious throughout and you’ll find yourself humming along to the verses almost as much as the chorus. All of these melodies are delivered in a very breathy and dreamlike fashion, which simply replicates the vibe implied by the rest of the instrumentation. Speaking of which, the introduction of the strings during the breakdown which then build throughout the song and create tension perfectly reflects the sad/happy feeling that this track exudes. And then, in the songs final minute the song starts taking influence from Daft Punk’s robotic vocal effects, which has become somewhat of a cliché these days and almost cringe-worthy, however in this case felt like a completely necessary and appropriate way of diverting the course of the track and ultimately increasing the effect of its climax.
As a debut single, Since November could certainly do a lot worse than ‘Star System’ and it’s going to be interesting to see from this point not only how well this particular track performs (as it’s still in its early stage of release) but also whether they are able to maintain and perhaps improve on this material.