"Animals" - Sara Lov (with Alex Brown Church)
Sweet-voiced Sara Lov has been on Fingertips twice previously with her duo, Devics, most recently in 2006 for the beautiful, torchy "Come Up." Minus partner Dustin O'Halloran's evocative keyboards, Lov sings here over a simple acoustic guitar lick and allows her voice the hint of a Jenny Lewis-like twang. But if the verse sets us up for a light bit of alt-country, the chorus moves us in a somewhat different direction. The sudden presence of Alex Brown Church (front man for the band Sea Wolf) as co-lead vocalist definitely changes the aural palette, as his warm baritone has not a bit of country about it.
An important, albeit subtler, shift in the chorus comes via the melody line. While the verse works within a limited, sing-song-y framework (simple, repeated, two-measure phrases) that actually hides musical complexities that do exist, the melody in the chorus opens up into a nicely developed eight-measure line. This serves to relieve a claustrophobia that we didn't quite know we were feeling until the relief arrived. Then comes an interesting sort of tag line after the chorus, sung jointly, that works to transition us comfortably back to the verse, only what's this? The second verse is altered and all but nonexistent, the tag line then leads us into rather than out of the chorus, Church and Lov singing together again. And everything leads to the final line of the song, which is exactly the same as the first line. Well done.
You'll find "Animals" on the album Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming, released rather too quietly in March by Nettwerk Records. MP3 via the free and legal music site RCRD LBL. Note that the link above is not direct, but you'll see what to do when you click it.