Every Record I Own: Broadcast – Work and Non Work

Every Record I Own: Broadcast – Work and Non Work

I first discovered this band in late 2021, I was building a playlist called Music for a Dad who was Cool in 1985 which had the intention of getting me to listen to music I liked but rarely listened to, and to discover new music that fit within the same vibe. A few of their tracks came up on various similar artist/suggested songs on Spotify, and whenever those songs came on the playlist I always was happy to hear them.

But it was really when I got a Deluge (synth/groovebox/drum machine/sampler thing) that I really got into them. While the most natural type of music to make on the Deluge is dance/electonic music like house, or hip hop type beats. I was wanting to try to use it to make more song structured music.

I started trying to separate music out into the instrumental layers that it was made out of while listening to see how something like that could be created on something like the Deluge.

Broadcast was a really great band to listen to explore this with. Their songs were built from three or four distinctive layers. Usually built from synths/organs/bass/drums each playing relatively simple loops. Some songs also have live instruments over the top, but they tend to stick to a similar formula. It seemed so achievable!

But they’re deceptively complex. The songs appear spacious despite having a lot happening at once. Tracks come in and out as the song moves forward. It feels like you’re listening to something that is moving together like a machine, not building just continuing, but then suddenly everything resolves together to a point that lurches forward into a new part of the song. They have loops that are more textural, but they also add both a melody and rhythm to the tracks, and get their turn to take centre stage in mid song.

The live drums an exception that sometimes bring quite a dynamism to the music, which somehow also works really well with the otherwise quite robotic sound.

Although English, the singer Trish Keenan has that flat European style of vocals that works so well with this style of music (labelled as indietronica by wikipedia, but I think that doesn’t quite cover it.) She sings in a nonchalant style, that matches the coldness of the synthesisers without feeling totally robotic.

I’m sure people who have a lot more musical skill than me could be able to recreate something like this easily. But the fact it sounds so simple but is not at all is what I love about it.

Although all their main releases are great, this collection of their first singles and EP has been what I’ve come back to the most and bought the record over summer.

Fave songs: Message from Home, Living Room, the World Backwards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s