Whistlejacket: Demonstrative

Do bands really record demos any more?

While the pop world still demands that each song is shone to a brilliant glint with super-slick studio polish, many small bands are finding that they can record their songs for a pittance in the garage and still get it out to their audience, and even on the radio if they can keep it simple.

Whistlejacket are at pains to point out that Shimmer is a demo (so much so that they popped 10 pairs of {curly brackets} around the song title), which makes me think that maybe they have huge, money-splashing plans for the final version.

(Or maybe not.)


Perhaps my point is that even demos sound good when the song is good enough. It’s the old “the Beatles sounded good recorded on four-track and played on an AM radio” argument played out once more.

I always worry when I hear a demo that I really like that whatever it is that is intrinsic to the song’s winning nature will be lost in the “real” version. So much of what makes a song enjoyable are those intangible, organic episodes that often crop up in demos.

And Shimmer is a song of many merits – it’s a dominating, dense and drifting song, with cloudy vocals that sound buried deep and pushed to the fore simultaneously. Fingers crossed.

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