UK based artist, Between The Frames, has just released his debut single, The First Time, and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio.
Between The Frames is the brainchild of solo artist, Ben Jones. Based in York, UK, but with collaboration from an LA based producer, The First Time is an almost anthemic love song dedicated to… well… the first time!
That anxious feeling that you get at the start of a relationship is captured well in the lyrics; “There’s nothing like the first time when you feel butterflies”. This is something we can all relate to and its stuff like this that make songs an instant classic. Add to this the 80s feel to parts of the song, with modern production and you’ve managed to capture the attention of quite a significant age range of the population.
The song kind of fools you at the start, with a dreamy beginning of synths and guitars in an almost U2 type feel. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, we change course and you’re into an almost 90s rock feeling song, but with 80s instrumentation. Between The Frames are clearly not scared to jump genres and take influence from wherever they so choose!
The use of a tambourine to define the choruses is always a good idea and its done well in The First Time. The chorus is catchy and anthemic and we feel this is a great song for the Summer.
The second verse is very similar in dynamics and melody to the first verse, only developing later in the verse with added instrumentation. We feel this may have been a missed opportunity to add a little variation in. That being said, you’re drawn straight back in once the chorus comes in. It truly is a sing along chorus, so be patient!
In fact, it would be fair to say that in our opinion, the choruses of this song are by far our favourite section. Not only are they super-catchy, but the melody of the vocal line is more varied at this point and you really start to feel invested in the song once the chorus comes around again.
We like the development in the double chorus at the end of the song, with a guitar riff added underneath the vocals the second time round. This lets the listener know that something’s happening and you’re building to a big crescendo. This is a great technique and helps to familiarise the listener with a song that they feel they’ve known for years by the time they get to the end.
With a familiar chord sequence and a simple melody line, The First Time feels as though it has all the potential to be a hit. Standing at four minutes it may be slightly outside the length that most commercial stations are willing to play lesser known artists, but we do feel that this track has everything it needs to be considered for BBC local (BBC Yorkshire, etc) and BBC Introducing. The artist may find success with 80s leaning internet DJs as well.
The First Time is a fun, poppy summer anthem with modern production and a catchy hook. It has all the elements needed to make this a song that the listener will return to several times over.