One Track Mind: Pixel, “Space” (2013)

Share this:

That indie-jazz band out of Norway Pixel sure had an irresistible song on their hands last year with the sassy number “Call Me,” part an overall catchy set of songs called Reminder. Using a beat that’s bursting at the seams, the calling card of “Call Me” is the unison of bassist Ellen Andrea Wang’s vocal with Jonas Vemøy’s trumpet. Joined by saxophonist Harald Lassen and drummer Jon Audun Baar, the song successfully combined the instant, sing-along appeal of good pop and the brashness of horn-led jazz.

Last week Pixel issued We Are All Small Pixels, continuing on the same successful formula of big, brassy bop, danceable rhythms of all sorts and Wang singing along with one or both of the horn players on about half of the tracks. And this new album’s “Call Me” track is arguably “Space.”

“Space” is another first person account of an imperfect romance and once again, Wang sings in lock step with Vemøy and, this time, Lassen, too. Each note played by the sax/trumpet union is a syllable for Wang’s straightforward and jaunty prose with lines like “we laugh/we fight/we love/we cry/we dance/we scream/we talk.” Add the syncopated funk of the rhythm section and “Space” is another instant winner.

There’s one other neat trick about this song, though. The verses are sung/played at a completely different rhythm pattern than the one being meted out by the drums and bass, though both patterns somehow mesh together perfectly.

And when you listen to this, try imagining singing this and playing the bass line at the same time. This is why I have mad respect for guys like Sting and Mark King of Level 42, who regularly devised complex, busy bass lines for their respective bands and then had to go perform these live while singing the lyrics in ways that don’t always sync up neatly with those bass lines. Wang is another such multitasker of rare talent.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00EFWSYJ8″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B007F5OCRA” /]

We Are All Small Pixels was released October 8 by Cuneiform Records. Visit Pixel’s website for more info.

photo: Solveig Selj

Share this: