Single Review: The Good Natured – 5-HT

By on Friday, 21st December 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Although ‘5-HT’ is the first single from The Good Natured‘s debut album out next year on EMI/Parlophone (aka the Beatles’ label home), it doesn’t mean it’s the first bit we’ve ever posted on them. Far from it. Former editor Phil wrote a Bands to Watch feature on Sarah McIntosh’s then solo project in 2008 (read it here) that starred her gran’s Casio keyboard, narrowly rescued by McIntosh from the rubbish heap.

But the project has now evolved into a full-fledged three-piece electropop band, featuring McIntosh on lead vocals and keyboards, brother Hamish on bass and university mate George Hinson on drums. At first, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with what The Good Natured morphed into once they wer signed to EMI; I was so worried about Sara turning into a Britney or a Gaga, as her look became hyper-sexualised. Judging from the lyrics of this single however, this is electropop…with a difference. Maybe I’m too outspoken for a woman, but I’m sorry, I’m not a 50 Shades of Grey wimp, crippled by the need to be dominated by a man. If you’re going to be a woman and sexual, then don’t you dare be a Lana Del Rey type. Take ownership of it!

While not as immediate and animal as last year’s ‘Skeleton’, there’s a lot to love about ‘5-HT’. If you’re wondering where the name came from, I immediately knew what it was, because I’m just a massive biochemistry boffin underneath. 5-HT is shorthand for 5-hydroxytryptamine, also known as the neurotransmitter serotonin, linked to pleasurable activities. How does this fit into a pop song? If you liked the self-assured swagger of Roxy Music‘s ‘Love is the Drug’ metaphor, this is in the same vein. “I fall deep / you kill the pain, my opiate / 5-HT / rush to the brain”: it’s not exactly chat up lines at your local, but rather more impressively, what a scientist might say in a paradoxically clever statement. Opiates, like heroin and morphine, kill pain and generally lead people to sleep…so how can this be, if we’re still talking about the pleasure chemical? Consider the bridge:

And it’s ripping through my heart when you kiss me
Feel you beating in my heart and running through my veins
And it’s ripping through my heart when you kiss me
Feel you beating in my heart and running through my veins
And it’s ripping through my heart when you kiss me
Feel you beating in my heart and running

An ex once said to me after reading some of my poetry about the love I had for him, “I don’t want to ruin your artistic expression, but this is how I see it, so plainly. I don’t think it’s dirty, it’s beautiful.” The sentiment rings true in this case too.

8/10

‘5-HT’, the current single from the Good Natured, is available now. Their debut album will be out in early 2013 on EMI/Parlophone.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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