Track Review: The Broken Chords: Six String Woman

‘Full of Joe Fin hallmarks, it musically encourages you to develop a soul-based swagger’

Intro to The Broken Chords:
When I tell you that ‘The Broken Chords’ formed back in 2013 you may well wonder why you should discover them now. However, when I tell you they were fronted by Joe Finnigan, the chances are you will understand why. Working alongside Aiden Eggenton (bass/vocals) and Lee Irons (drums/vocals,) their 2016 EP ‘Modern Fables’ (produced by Mitch Ayling,) is one that gives perfect context to Joe’s most recent releases. Additionally, the fact that he worked two tracks from it – the previously reviewed ‘Love on Heat’ and ‘Six String Woman,’ reviewed below into his BBC Introducing Essex gig – makes them just as relevant now as they would have been then.

Featured Track 1: Six String Woman
Opening with a guitar riff comprised of detached strummed chords, ‘Six String Woman’ certainly grabs your attention. Full of unpredictable, almost experimental note placements, there is practically no sense of tempo. Will the track have just as much energy as the others? Or will it be an unusually relaxed sound? At this early point, we can’t really tell, however as Joe’s opening lyrics break through, it becomes a track which sits somewhere between the two.

Taking the track into a fuller sound, Joe’s trademark vocal is accompanied by a true setting of tempo thanks to a dominating combination of a strummed chords and an even, regular sounding drum pattern. Perfectly complimenting Joe’s tone, it certainly resembles the sound of his live performance and pushing us toward the first rendition of the chorus, you can’t help but start to move.

Shifting in musical style, the funk-influenced sound of the verse makes way for a rock-influenced pre-chorus. Providing a musical nod to his inspiration, Joe’s lead guitar melody begins to take off. However, just as you think you know where it is heading, the sound is reined back in making way for a third style and switching to a half-tempo feel, the Wilson Pickett-esque accompaniment musically encourages you to develop a soul-based swagger.

Continuing along a similar line to the previous sections, a second verse and a resurgence of the chorus occur. However while the main elements are still apparent, greater interest is brought to them through changes in vocal lines. Bringing an additional layer to the verse, harmonic, call and response style backing vocals reinforce key lyrics while leaps in pitch within the chorus, guide us toward the bridge.

Here, while the track remains centred on the accompanying elements of the chorus, Joe’s more rock-influenced guitar line begins to metaphorically (and literally in the case of the live performance) take centre stage. Inspired by melodic fragments from earlier vocal lines, Joe’s modal based improvisation enables the track to really take off before returning to the chorus for a final time. Full of Joe Fin hallmarks, it’s no wonder it seemed right at home in a set full of new tracks.

‘Six String Woman’ is taken from ‘Modern Fables’ by ‘The Broken Chords’ and is available to purchase on iTunes now and you can read the full review at: Gig Review: Joe Fin: BBC Introducing Essex

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