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Irish dance duo Topline share new track ‘Y2K’

August 4, 2021

IMRO chats with Topline ahead of their new single release ‘Y2K’.

Topline in a music sense is the melody which a vocalist sings over a song, it could probably be considered the simplest yet hardest part of the song writing process. We chose this name because we are often drawn towards artists who have a strong flair for writing good vocal melodies (toplines).

The song was written originally as an upbeat disco song but as we began recording vocals we started to lean into themes of nostalgia and yesteryear. This was due to the sense of longing the song evoked in us, when we listened to the harmonic guitars and wandering pads, it felt like an anachronism, a time-slip when we were more focused on doing things based in the present. We came up with the title of Y2K to package all of these themes together, something that’s future-focused but ultimately passed.

The writing process usually begins very gentle, mainly using simple drums with guitars and keyboards, we try to make the songs as memorable and distinct this way only using basic elements, so it becomes something you could hum to yourself or play on piano if you felt like it. Because we end up with a lot of material this way we then only choose to produce the ones which can sustain interest for us over a long period, a few months or so, this way we know the music will have better longevity.

When it comes to writing vocals, the songwriters we like craft many hooks into each section of their songs, it can sound unnatural or forced if this is too intentional though so we take a lot of time to make sure each one can has a flow that can easily pass from one section to the next. In this way, we think each section of the song can become its own ohrwurm, a pocket of delight that you might repeat an entire song just to listen to.

We also tend to use a lot of old machines and hardware for the recording process, stuff we bought second hand. Although these things can break easily and need to be repaired, they do impart a certain charm into the music that’s necessary for us to bring songs to completion.

There’s a lot of people we could say are influential, but supposing it comes down to direct influence on the material we make, people like: Chris Rainbow, Yellow Magic Orchestra,
Ennio Morricone, John Lennon, Ali Tamposi & Max Martin.

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