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TGTF Top 10: Songs with Science-y Titles

 
By on Friday, 12th October 2012 at 11:00 am
 

With the 2012 Nobel Prize winners in Medicine and Physiology, Physics and Chemistry announced this week, us here at TGTF thought it would be fitting for some discussion of the best songs that have managed to sneak science into their titles. This year’s Literature and Peace Prize winners have also been announced, but let’s face it. There are way too many tunes that would be appropriate and it’s a lot easier to get peace and love into a song, and music is just another art like literature, innit? So without further adieu…

10. Freelance Whales – ‘Enzymes’ (chemistry)
I’m not sure what this song means. “Turn into the tide / spill out your enzymes”: is that a sexual reference? Or maybe a cleansing of your soul? Not sure. Either way, they start the list with a obviously geeky song title.

9. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – ‘Twins’ (medicine / physiology)
While it would have been cool to have a song that was literally about the making of twins, this song instead is talking about how people can be perceived as twins as being peas in a pod. Which is the closest you’re going to get outside of genetics. And sheer luck.

8. Everything Everything – ‘Tin (the Manhole)’ (chemistry)
A song with a chemistry title but really about mortality (so could fit in the medicine / physiology group too).

7. Muse – ‘The Resistance’ (physics)
While it’s a stretch with “love is our resistance”, the next line “they keep us apart and they won’t stop breaking us down” actually, rather hilariously, sounds like how in biology, a receptor grabs onto its substrate: made for each other.

6. Maximo Park – ‘Our Velocity’ (physics)
“Never, never try to gauge temperature / when you tend to travel / at such speed / it’s our velocity” – it’s like a physics nerd’s love poem!

5. Tom Williams and the Boat – ‘My Bones’ (medicine / physiology)
Tom Williams effectively harnesses the feelings deep down in one’s bones, the only kind that love lost can engender.

4. The Wombats – ‘Anti-D’ (medicine / physiology)
This is the true story of lead singer Murph’s experience with anti-depressants that didn’t work. It even names citalopram, an actual anti-depressant that physically makes it impossible to cry (“the only tears come from our heads when we concentrate”).

3. Noah and the Whale – ‘Two Atoms in a Molecule’ (chemistry)
Love compared to what happens when two atoms come together to make a molecule? Yes, Charlie Fink *did* go there.

2. Mystery Jets – ‘Serotonin’ (medicine / physiology)
Named after the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter, it’s used effectively here as a way to call out a girl’s name (“Sarah…serotonin…”) and describe the way you feel like when you’re in love. Perfect, really.

1. OMD – ‘Electricity’ (physics)
The song is literally about power, or rather the wasting of it by mankind. Who knew the current flowing through Thomas Edison’s lightbulbs had it going on? And it was the ’80s, so here is a catchy as hell synth melody.

Honourable mention: Thomas Dolby – ‘She Blinded Me with Science’
It’s set in a wacky (no pun intended) mental institution. And come on, there’s an actual scientist – Magnus Pyke – in the video and adding strange interjections into the song. It doesn’t fall into any category but we’d be remiss not mentioning it on this list.

 

Video of the Moment #966: Tom Williams and the Boat

 
By on Monday, 10th September 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

This is the new Tom Williams and the Boat video for ‘Little Bit in Me’. At first I was thinking, “err, why are the band wearing bird masks?” A minute in, the masks are off. Whew. The minor keys of the guitar with conversational (not sung) verses makes this feel rebellious, until you’re reigned back in with the chorus and a mournful violin. Watch the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEuiS_fjLpY[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Tom Williams and the Boat perform ‘Teenage Blood’ for Burberry Acoustic

 
By on Wednesday, 4th July 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Here is a stripped back, and a couple members-less, acoustic version of ‘Teenage Blood’, performed by the great Tom Williams and the Boat, for a Burberry acoustic session. Watch it below. ‘Teenage Blood’ is the title track of their latest album, released in March.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oLTjiRJ3uY[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #822: Tom Williams and the Boat

 
By on Sunday, 3rd June 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

The Tom Williams and the Boat video for ‘Too Young’ was drawn by Tom himself. That alone should make it worth for everyone to watch it below. It’s also a bit more upbeat than some of the other songs of theirs we’ve featured on TGTF, so have a listen/look.

This single will be out on the 11th of June on Moshi Moshi Records/Wire Boat Recordings.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug5tPc5MZas[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Tom Williams and the Boat – Teenage Blood

 
By on Thursday, 29th March 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

In the video for ‘Teenage Blood’, the first single from Tom Williams and the Boat’s second album, Wild West Victoriana jousts with a Celtic-influenced coming-of-age ditty. The band are all dressed up like cowboys (it helps that several of them naturally look like they’ve just stepped off the set of a Western), and a gun-toting teenage outlaw hijacks a buttoned-up family on a steam train…it can’t end well, can it?

Like a disused railway siding, there’s a mournful streak running through the song (“Rain dripping inside of the windowsill / Dad’s crying because the baby’s ill”), but overall the message is one of hope and youthful potential. The band have a lovely organic sound, with violin and squeezebox enhancing the crunchy guitars; the whole sound and sentiment gel very nicely. It bodes well for the album proper, also called Teenage Blood. Oh, and for any railway and photography geeks out there, there’s some lovely bokeh/model train interaction.

8/10

‘Teenage Blood’, the new single from Tom Williams and the Boat, is out on the 9th of April.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAFXlE41b2I[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Tom Williams and the Boat – My Bones

 
By on Thursday, 16th February 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

As much as we celebrated Valentine’s Day this week here at TGTF Towers, there’s also an opposite side. Not every relationship is built around fluffy cuddly toys or over-priced pieces of card with a soulless pre-printed message inside. Some couples are unfortunately fated to fail. Luckily then there’s a wealth of songs written about ‘the one who got away’, ‘the one you’ll always love’ and everyone’s favourite ‘the one who got a restraining order’.

One band dipping their toe into the murky waters of anti-love songs are Tom Williams and the Boat with their new single ‘My Bones’. The Tunbridge Wells sextet have created a 4-minute ambient opus of heartache that has all the ingredients of a huge stadium anthem…that fails to get off the ground.

As a song, it’s lyrically-focused and the music seems to be an after thought. The chorus line “Can you pick me up Mary and take me home / I love you from the marrow of my bones” has that Frank Turner-esque, folk rock spine-tingling element, but just doesn’t elevate itself high enough over the rest of the acoustic simplicity.

The mix of Leonard Cohen style ‘sort of talking’ vocals and slow, sombre backing music creates a heartfelt and emotive sound. Tom Williams and his crew, though, just can’t find the hook to drag us into their boat. The passion is there but it just doesn’t come across as strongly as it should. You’re left wanting more, but not in a good way.

6/10

‘My Bones’, Tom Williams and the Boat’s new single, is out the 27th of February on Moshi Moshi.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFyPFFEyZTM[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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