‘Sure we can’t head back to the dance floor yet, but press play on this and you’ll feel like you’re already there.’
Those of you who are long term followers of Listen to Discover will know that Patawawa are far from strangers. I’ve been lucky enough to review their music numerous times, interview them, playlist their releases and see them live a few times as well. Ah yes, remember those days when we could all cram into a venue with our favourite band providing the soundtrack? It certainly makes you nostalgic doesn’t it. However, while it may well be some time until those days return, Patawawa’s latest release “Adadadadeya” provides the perfect way of at least feeling like those days have already returned.
Setting up what is to become a running theme of the track, vocally centred harmonies signal the start of the energy filled journey that we are about to begin. Built on four notes, there’s a delicate clash which wouldn’t be out of place in disco-funk sounds of a bygone era. They are warm, totally enticing and instantly you want more. Yes it’s a phrase that’s only three seconds long, but it’s shamelessly enjoyable. Likewise, in suddenly shifting to the disco grooves we know Patawawa can deliver, you know the fun is only just beginning.
Combining electric guitar, picked bass, electro drum patterns and delicate bongos it’s completely infectious, and with syncopated beats giving emphasis in all the right places, you can’t help but let the fun take over you. In short, it’s a groove that you could loop around for hours and never get bored of. Trust me, I’ve already lost track how many times I’ve done exactly that! Equally, with the echoing first arrival of the nonsensical, near-impossible to say title lyric sandwiched between these opening elements, you, as ever, want to be on that dance floor.
While the opening confirmed that we are firmly in Patawawa territory, moving through the first verse you really do know you’re there. Feeling instantly familiar, Rory’s vocal begins to deliver the initial true lyrics which feature all the cheeky hallmarks we expect. However, while lines such as ‘she looked enticing, so exciting, that’s my thing‘ hint at this, the real cheek comes from Beth’s hushed setting of ‘come to me.’ That in itself would be enough, but the inclusion of fluttering flute paints the emotion felt wonderfully. Rare in the fact that it sees the groove removed, it’s just as successful as everything else.
Ensuring that we get musical kicks up the rear throughout, the chorus sees this sense of space alternate with resurgences of the fuller groove. Perfectly reflecting the contrasting lyrical content, the true lyrics are set to synchronised chord changes while each recurrence of ‘Adadadadeya’ provides countless musical injections. Add to this arpeggiated synths and it’s pretty easy to imagine the track being pressed to vinyl and spun on the decks at Studio 54. Honestly.
Reaching the second verse, the feel of the track remains much the same but the real triumph is how the energy is maintained. Unlike before, the backing to Rory’s vocal is more restrained with percussive loops being more distant and the simplistic, yet relentless electric guitar hook providing the only instrumental lines. Achieving the same feel as earlier, while dramatically reducing the actual content – note content not quality – really isn’t easy to do. However, while this is the case initially, around the halfway point the electro drum patterns of before begin to re-emerge alongside chromatically cheeky, guitar enhancing synths. Though experienced earlier, here, following a brief absence, they feel incredibly renewed.
Working to the same effect, if not even moreso, following Rory’s confirmation that even he doesn’t know what the title means, a succession of the track’s strongest fragments occurs. Triple-bouncing from delicate bongos, to the title lyric and then to the opening vocal harmonies, the cheek within the preceding line is perfectly reflected. And in shifting so swiftly, the forthcoming energy filled return is inferred making the full transition wonderfully seamless.
However, while this atmosphere could, like loop-inducing opening, keep going for ever, we are not granted this luxury. Instead, what we are treated to is a sound that completely emulates the best disco breakdowns that may have graced the aforementioned venue. One that, with it’s endless percussive cross-rhythms, dominant synth string countermelodies and selective vocals makes you want to experience it all over again.
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Find out more about Patawawa and their music at: Track Review: Patawawa: Fight Me, EP Review: Patawawa: Bedroom, Gig Review: Patawawa at The Old Blue Last and Behind the Music: Interview with Patawawa