Simon Says Dance

Every rose has its thorn. And every compilation has its flaw, a song that isn’t as good as the others. The aim is for every song to make you lean forward and exclaim “Yes!” and reach for the volume. The other end of that aim is for nothing to be skippable, for no song to send your fingers to that double-forward-vertical-line symbol that still exists despite the symbols that surround it having faded to retro.

But by the closing of compiling you’re usually looking for one song. And usually for something in particular, a mood or a vibe that will complement the song before and the song after. By this stage the list of songs you’ve excised is half as long as the compilation itself and the casualties are much regretted: Danny Brown’s Radio Song and Growing Up didn’t make it on here, and nor did Kilo Kish’s Indigo’s July or Kitty’s Dead Island. And all of them are songs I like more than I like this one.

That isn’t exactly talking up Simon Says Dance. And I do like the song. It’s delicate, fey even, but meanders to a surprisingly strong hook. And the Lilith Fair vibe, the descending chimes and formal melody, is gradually superseded by drum machines, bleeping synth patterns, the buzz of electronica. It’s an intellectual, arms-length take on club culture that complements the first song on this compilation, that recalls and links back to Serafina Steer to introduce the beginning of the end, the second half. And I like to include those kind of thematic similarities where possible, whether it’s two songs by the same act or two songs on the same subject or the same remixer or even just hidden, stupid links like a whole bunch of people with X in their names.

It was the last song on the compilation. It’s the least song on the compilation for me. It made it for a whole host of reasons: to provide an interval, because I couldn’t find anything that led into the next song, because the theme fitted. But I don’t ever skip past it, and the more I hear the compilation, the more it becomes settled, the more crucial a piece of the whole it seems.

Artist: Nancy Elizabeth

Title: Simon Says Dance

Compilation: Coyote Summer

Track: 12

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