« Previous | Main | Next »

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly ft. Shy FX - 'Collapsing Cities'

Post categories:

Fraser McAlpine | 18:14 UK time, Monday, 2 August 2010

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly

Sam Duckworth is one smart cookie. Clever enough to give himself an arresting performer name, so's not to get lost among all the winsome singer-songwriter Bens and Toms and Seths and Franks. Canny enough to be outspoken in an era when your average pop star is too worried about being loved by everyone to even consider venturing an opinion, even on a topic that we're all pretty much agreed on.

And he's wise enough to accept his place in the general scheme of things without developing diva tendencies. Or rather, to be seen to accept his place in the general scheme of things -relatively lowly after that second album - and then go off and cook up something amazing, just to shake things up.

This then, is the amazing thing. The second of the year's big excursions into UK urban music from well-established indie stars, and by some distance the most fun.

(Here's the video. One take! AND he hit the plates!)

Part of the credit for the fun thing must go to Shy FX, who's been around the block enough times to realise that this is not the time to break out the really scary drum & bass ruckus. No, if you've got a singer with a quiet, whispery voice like Sam's, and some lyrics about destroying your home with immense partying, what you need are some parping horns - just like the ones that did for Jericho in the Bible - a breakbeat you can't break, or beat, and some clever twiddly production bits - handclaps and a singalong, in fact - for the latter third when everything starts to sag a bit.

This is what he has done, and he is very good at it. Well done, Mr FX.

For his part, Sam has come up with a brilliant lyric, and a brilliant melody in which to stick it. It's a clever little tale about having to keep moving house because his music can destroy buildings. It's probably a parable for consumerist greed or the class struggle - there are certainly bits of that dotted around, especially in the second verse - but on face value it's just about the state of the property beforehand, and the total devastation afterwards.

What I particularly love is the great social responsibility Sam has injected into things. Being a seasoned campaigner against bad stuff, even a made-up story about collapsing buildings has to take Health and Safety considerations on board. So while there's a glee in his squeaky little voice about all the devastation, he's careful to make sure none of us are worried about fatalities. To the extent that he's even written it into a line that he has trouble saying. That's how much he cares:

"Though the building collapsed with the night, everyone got out alive"

(It's that "with" that causes all the trouble, tripping the tongue over almost every time. Poor helpful, caring Sam).

This is, therefore, the kind of wilful property destruction by musical means that everyone can really get behind. Nice work, brainiac!

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Certified Banger says: "I like this track and I'll make no apologies for the non-Hip Hop content of it."

Welikeit.indie says: "I got a sick Jackwob remix of it."


  • No comments to display yet.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.