Song of the Day #69: ‘Sing’ – Travis

First, a bit of a rant.

Today’s song was going to be ‘Pensacola,’ a gritty slice of southern blues rock by Joan Osborne, whose debut album Relish is a woefully under-appreciated gem. But Ms. Osborne, or her handlers, apparently police YouTube like the SS, shooting down any videos containing her songs. I even tried uploading a clip with a completely misleading title but the system scanned the audio track and booted it.

Come on! Are they really afraid people will listen to her music on YouTube instead of buying it? How entirely inconvenient would that be in the age of the 99 cent download? You know, Joan, it’s far more likely that people would spread your music around on blogs like this one and you might pick up some new fans.

OK, rant over.

Sorry, Travis, to have gone on such a tangent instead of commenting on your song. I commend you for allowing your music and videos to be shared by music lovers on this wacky new World Wide Web.

Of all the bands described (or dismissed) as Radiohead wannabes (a list that includes Coldplay and Keane as well as this band and several others), Travis has most consistently impressed me. I think it’s because they don’t seem to take themselves as seriously as the rest.

Sure, they can pile on the angst and many of their songs are bathed in atmosphere, but there’s an underlying optimism in most of their work that makes for easy listening.

Take this song, ‘Sing,’ from their second album The Invisible Band. Lead singer and writer Fran Healy penned the tune for his wife, who was always reluctant to sing in front of him. It’s a buoyant exhortation to just belt it out and not give a damn what anybody else thinks.

And whoever came up with the idea of introducing a banjo to the mix is a very smart person indeed.

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #69: ‘Sing’ – Travis

  1. Amy says:

    Well, I may have just fallen in love with Fran Healy, for what could be a better love song than this? This video reminds me both why videos became such a big deal and why they hurt the songs in the process. It’s odd and funny and even throws in some John Woo style balletic leaps and falls, but the more I focused on the video the more I lost the song.

    Now let’s hope that Healy’s exuberant command that his listener “sing” is not taken to heart by this listener, as I wish the agony of hearing me do such a thing on nobody. Still, I’m thrilled that he’s suggested I should do just that šŸ™‚

  2. Dana says:

    I was unaware that Travis was viewed as somehow a derivitive of Radiohead and Coldplay. I don’t care much for eitther of those bands, but I like what I have heard so far from Travis far better. This song is no exception. Lovely song, but I agree with Amy that the video doesn’t really do much to enhance the experience.

  3. Clay says:

    I should probably make this clear on the blog, but I encourage my readers to ignore the videos, which are unfortunately the easiest way for me to embed the songs here.

    It’s especially annoying when the only clip I can find is some fan video that includes the most literal interpretation of the lyrics… if the singer mentions milk, we get a picture of a glass of milk, etc.

    On the flip side, the Elliott Smith tribute wall video was even more powerful than the song. So I guess it’s a mixed bag.

    I agree that this video doesn’t do the song any favors, though it’s fun to watch.

  4. Amy says:

    I like that you include the video because it gives me a chance to think about both the lyrics and the filmmaker’s interpretation of those lyrics. I usually start watching the video, then scroll down or switch to another tab. Unless I’m hoping for some key to unlocking the mystery of the song, as happened a couple of weeks ago with that Ron Sexsmith “twist.” šŸ™‚

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