This article is a simple description of what happens in the song and is aimed at those who have no particular musical knowledge. That’s why I will not delve into the arguments by entering into the merits of timing, chord progressions and all those things that a musician can already perceive on his own. So if you’re a musician, this article is probably not for you. If instead you are a music lover, wear headphones or turn on the speakers and follow me in this adventure. Today we tell about When Anger Shows by Editors
The song begins by immediately creating an expectation, with a sound that supports the chords completely immersed in a heavy reverberation that makes the sounds impalpable. Below you can hear another continuous sound, probably a synth drone. Few seconds and a piano is already coming forward, also this full of effect, which revolves the chords. Slowly it increases the intensity of a drum kit, which plays an agitated groove in strong contrast with the rarefied atmosphere of before. In addition to the snare, you can clearly hear a second, more metallic snare that punctuates its rhythm. Everything increases in intensity until the climax in which the singer’s voice is introduced.
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Tom Smith sings “It creeps all over you like a dull ache” with a voice that is not too reverberated and that is well inserted in the context that has been created so far. “It pulls you to the ground” and checks out an electric guitar, also full of reverb, which underlines the further increase the narrative intensity. Very much in the background, you can hear a second guitar very distorted with a lot of reverb that crown the whole.
“In that moment you realize“, here we introduce an almost percussive sound inside our left ear, while the piano begins to scan the phrasing, not limiting itself anymore to support the chords alone. Always on the left you can distinguish a synth that sounds almost like an organ that helps to give this sense of fullness to the arrangement.
The drum groove stops, leaving only a hit-hat to break up the tempo in a frenetic way. At the same time a guitar played with very quick pick strokes (as you would do with a mandolin) placed to the center of our listening creates a sense of openness, thanks to the delay effects that spread these notes throughout our stereo field.
1.20 [Chorus 1]
Three snare shots and the words “These thoughts I must not think of” re-introduce the drum set that takes its place, but this time using less snare and giving a sense of air with the use of the cymbals, especially ride and crash. Now the kick drum is glued to the bass guitar, while the piano returns to chime the chords. Above all this is the guitar always played with quick plectrums and full of delay.
The arrangement is emptied and the drummer returns to perform a more sustained groove with the snare drum played at intervals on the metal edge, while the wake of the guitar begins to disappear. You can hear a synth pad and piano, both only play chords, like at the beginning of the song. “You are a sleeping lion” sings Tom, while the bassist plays notes with a rather distorted sound.
“You’re a memory from before” and the guitar begins to underline the words of Tom. “In that moment you realize” introduces a guitar that plays louder notes and while the piano continues undaunted to scan the chords, another guitar comes forward playing only a few notes.
The atmosphere of suspension is similar to that of the minute 1.13, but this time we add the shots of toms and kick drum, twice at the beginning of two measures before the snare launches the second chorus.
2.50 [Chorus 2]
Basically it’s like chorus 1, but the intensity increases. The drum kit is intentionally played louder and instead of playing the ride, the drummer plays on the hit-hat with energy.
The acoustic drums go away and leave room for an electronic drums with a quick fade of a synth. The atmosphere changes radically. The bass played in 1/8 note divides the tempo together with a percussive sound that is a complement to the electronic drums. And while a synth pad comes in from nowhere, two “crunch” guitars play harmonizing a riff in 1/8 too. “How can you know what things are worth?“, Tom underlines, with the help of other voices coming from left and right. Other silent voices (“Mmh“) act as a chorus, fitting in with the design played by the guitars.
In this context the acoustic drums return and the arrangement fills to the left and right with sounds, probably other guitars full of effect. The piano also arrives to give a strong hand.
The intensity still rises thanks to the electric guitars that make their presence felt by pressing a more open chorus (“ooh”) while Tom continues to sing along with other background voices.
4.47 [Chorus 3]
Almost without realizing it, Tom sings “These thoughts I must not think of” and drags us into the last chorus, which preserves the whole presence of the instruments heard from the minute 4.20.
“It’s OK” sentenced Tom and after a few moments all the instruments calm down, the drummer takes a breath and plays much softer, while the synth pad and piano continue their work on chords. The guitar leaves the scene in a very noisy way, creating a lot of contrast with the next quiet. After a while the drums stop completely, leaving only piano and synth pad. And while this one exhales the last breath, the piano seems to lose its reverb and remains drier. So it plays the last notes and then remains suspended.
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