Track Teardown #2

Track Teardown of 13 by LANY

 

TRACK RELEASE INFORMATION

Label: Interscope Records ‎– B0026559-02
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 30 Jun 2017
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Style: Electro, Indie Pop

 

Background Information

LANY is a semi-small American band formed in March 2014. Members include Paul Jason Klein on lead vocals, keyboard and guitar, Jake Clifford Goss on drums and the Roland SPD-SX and Les Priest on keyboards, guitar and backup vocals. That year they released a few singles and an EP, with the song ‘ILYSB’ generating a large amount of interest online. Their career has progressed from here, with the band opening for various large artists including Halsey, Twin Shadow and Troye Sivan. Since, the band has released their first album, titled LANY, which the track I am tearing down, ’13’ was released in. The reason behind the name of the track was revealed earlier this year on the band’s twitter account where they stated “it’s called “13” because we wrote and recorded it in one day – july 13, 2016.” The song is in the common scale of A flat minor, which somewhat explains the very smooth-paced tracking of the song.

 

Arrangement (song structure)

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Using Ableton, the track was matched to its BPM of 134 and each section was separated into individual sections to show the track arrangement. This arrangement is as follows:

  • Intro (12 Bars)
  • Verse 1 (16 Bars)
  • Chorus 1 (16 Bars)
  • Breakdown 1 (8 Bars)
  • Verse 2 (16 Bars)
  • Chorus 2 (16 Bars)
  • Breakdown 2 (8 Bars)
  • Bridge (8 Bars)
  • Breakdown 3 (8 Bars)
  • Chorus 3 (16 Bars)
  • Outro (8 Bars)

 

Breakdown of Instruments

The track begins with a short introduction of around 12 bars. In this section, the beat is introduced for the first 4 bars and consists of a thumping kick, clappy sounding snare and some short, punchy hats that keep a consistent, steady pace. At the start of the 5th bar, an electric guitar is introduced which provides a melodic element to the track very close to the start. This riff then continues until the end of the 12th bar where the first verse begins. This guitar is very clean and it can be assumed this is the intention as some string plucks are audible within the mix. There is some slight reverb on the guitar to make it sound more spaced out and is EQ’d so that the mid-high frequencies are more prominent, which avoids muddiness due to the low frequencies of the drum-line. There is also a bass-line introduced once the guitar riff starts. It is a lot less audible and sits fairly low within the mix, however it can be identified as sequenced as it lasts for a bar before changing chord and is held very well and does not sound played.

The first verse consists of the same loop of the 4th-12th bar. The same guitar chords, drums and bass are played and these are also edited in the same fashion. However, vocals are now introduced into the track. These vocals are very airy sounding an have a nice amount of reverb on them that suits the sound of the instruments. These vocals sit very forward in the mix, however do not take away from the very basic, clean sounding rhythm of the instruments. The song then moves into a chorus where everything again stays the same. Vocals are again included however no new instruments are introduced and nothing is mixed differently.

After this chorus, a short 8 bar break down occurs. In this time, the drum and bass lines continue playing, however the guitar changes and plays a small riff. The guitar sounds like it has a small amount of overdrive put on it, however again largely uses the same effects as the previous chords being played. The only difference is that it is brought forward in the mix during the breakdown. The reverb decay also is a little longer during this section and sits at about 5 seconds decay time which really brightens up the section and adds something new to the song.

The song again moves into a verse, then chorus where vocals and the original loop of music is played. Following this, the same 8 bar breakdown is again played. Instead of repeating this again, a bridge is now introduced. In this section the same bass, guitar chords and drum-line is played, however some vocal ad-libs are introduced that follow the same notation as the breakdown section. A second guitar is now also introduced that follows along with these ad-libs.

After the bridge, the song moves into a third and final breakdown where the same loop is again played for 8 bars. However, the second introduced guitar is still present within this with small riffs throughout the section. The initial strums are very prominent however they then fade in really nicely with the chords of the initial guitar loop.

From here, a final chorus occurs. Again, the same loop is played underneath vocals. However, this time, the vocals are seemingly very far away and very reverb-y. It can be assumed that the signal is close to, if not 100% wet for this to occur. Despite this, the decay time is still quite short and it lets the listener sort of know that the song is winding down. From here, the guitar continues to play a small riff over the top of the vocals before fading out and leading into a small outro where, similar to the start of the intro, the beat plays for about 4 bars.

 

Summary of the Teardown

Overall, the song is largely very simple yet works on various levels. As a result, the song is well-balanced and well-mixed. Various elements of this song, including the drum beat and guitar editing are things that I would like to emulate in some personal projects and is the reason behind this teardown. The stereo image could be a little wider, however, for the simplicity and amount of elements, a small-scope mix still works.

 

 

 

References:

LANY (2) – LANY. (2017). Discogs. Retrieved 9 November 2017, from https://www.discogs.com/LANY-LANY/release/10543308

LANY on Twitter. (2017). Twitter. Retrieved 14 December 2017, from https://twitter.com/thisislany/status/870500176837857280?lang=en

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