Tuesday, April 7, 2015
By Default By Design on 3345 Music / Bye DD Records
By Default By Design seems to be the solo project of Craig Crafton who has been working in various capacities in the music business for at least the last ten years. Moved by the birth of his son wrote and recorded the A-Side of this single and then a classic Bob Marley cover for the B-Side. You can't find fault with a dad creating this kind of time capsule for his son. He can't grow up with Justin Bieber CD's in his collection right? I want to think it isn't inevitable.
"New Best Friend" opens with a repeated single note fingerpicked line on an acoustic that doesn't elude to the weird electronica that opens up in this first verse. Like Tunng it has that unlikely combination of super produced organic sounds bent into right angle circuitry from the shifting metallic pitches of the multiple layers of guitars to sharp hissy smashes of percussion. The vocals are pushed through a robotic phaser his individual lines of subconscious thoughts broken up and stepping on each other in an almost shoe gaze place. You can hear the lengths he's gone in every second to push this into that catchy pop experimental home recorded territory but this has been polished multiple times without even a chance to get dirty. Chorus effects, buttons pushed, piano, drum machines, tweak the EQ a bit more. Being a relatively new father myself I'm a completely biased audience and I'm sure his son is going to be proud to play this ten years or so from now for inspiration himself.
The B-Side "3 Little Birds" is a Bob Marley cover of course that I'll admit to singing at sing a long at the coffee shop with my own son so again he's pushing those buttons again. There's a heavy electronic dub vibe to this in skittering toms and rim shots with a bass line that's straight synth. The vocals again are buried under vocoders and range transposers…I'm going to assume a music engineer/producer wouldn't dare soil this track with use of the dreaded auto tune and this is used more not correct an imperfect performance but to expand the vocal into it's own muddy area of electronic reggae. Even more than that he's taking great liberties with the original material which is what anyone should be attempting when paying homage to a staple track like this.
Get this on baby blue swirl vinyl from BDBD direct.