Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to Videotapes latest single, Streetlights, released on 23 January 2023.
Our regular readers will remember Videotapes from their track, Howl (for Jane Doe), which we described as one of the most impressive debuts we’d heard in a long time. No doubt we were excited to see their name hit the top of our reviews pile again!
Streetlights is an anthemic alt-rock track that sits just shy of 3 minutes. A perfect radio-friendly length song which powers in and grabs your attention immediately.
The live-sounding drums are a great touch and give the song an infectious energy. They really smack through in the mix and carry everything perfectly. We’d truly love to see Videotapes perform live. A repeated guitar riff with a clean sound and natural distortions added to it brings in the theme of monotony as it repeats several times at the start of the song, and then continues throughout, bringing the song together perfectly.
Streetlights is inspired by the Somerset House exhibition “24/7” on the non-stop nature of modern city life and addresses the depression and dull monotony of dead-end office work.
Streetlights takes on a slightly OMD feel in places with some nods towards 80s pop music. The heavy crunching guitars in the choruses and the added layered and harmony vocals give the choruses a huge lift with some great separation between sections provided by the repeated guitar riff.
Vocally sounding a little like the late Dolores O’Riordan, the lead vocals here have character and presence. We love the build to the end with the chorus and several extra vocals filling in the gaps and building to a truly dynamic end with the repeated guitar riff played round just a few more times to really create an earworm you’ll want to return to many times.
Ideas from our ears
A boost in the top 2 octaves would increase the brightness and presence in the track. To our ears, the vocals get a little lost in places so some extra compression and limiting could help bring them forward in the mix. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Videotapes are absolutely on the right trajectory here. They’re creating superb music which is innovative and catchy. It is only a matter of time before we’ll be hearing Videotapes on the radio much more. Watch this space.