Reviewed by Imogen Cresswell
“When I said I wanted you, I meant for gold and I still do”.
Marked BBC Introducing’s ‘track of the week’ only days after release, When You Said That We Were Through has become the newest top single from one of Leicester’s most versatile artists Michael Vickers. Becoming the fourth number of his EP Poetic Nonsense, it joins Dead and Buried, I’ll Be There, and You’re Not Around Anymore as a bonus track. These tracks have made several appearances on radio shows, such as Live Local and Loud and BBC Radio Leicester, etc. Vickers has also shown appearances on Soundcloud, and in playlists on Spotify.
When You Said That We Were Through became an immediate favourite the moment the sweet melody of the acoustic guitar came in. These warm tones, from the layers of sound so flawlessly produced, create such a filling atmosphere. The subtle rolling drums could fool an audience into thinking they are stood by the waves on a tropical beach, feeling the exact emotions Vickers is portraying with his lyrical poetry. It is hard to neglect that the vocals are very suitable for this particularly reminiscent, stylised track, which only proves the talent of this artist. When you compare another self-made track from his EP (e.g. Dead and Buried), you learn not only can he perform romantic and clear vocals, but he can also adapt them to fit the rougher indie-rock genre.
The meaning behind this track, as described by Vickers, is given from the viewpoint of a person who spills out their thoughts and feelings after experiencing a particular level of hurt due to circumstances they could not control. As the listener, you can insert yourself into the shoes of Vickers, and learn how it feels to have the same level of regret and anxiety as the subject of the story, and the thoughts of what you could have done to save something that had meant so much to you.
When You Said That We Were Through inspires the delightful sounds of early 50’s to early 60’s easy listening lounge music, brought back to life by Vickers. The instrumental can be closely associated with artist Perry Como’s For the Good Times and Killing Me Softly With Her Song, due to the layers of guitar filling up any empty space so that the piece remains full and vibrant even when Vickers may not be singing.
Vickers utilises the effects of his guitar very well, with subtle tremolo that is perfectly placed to keep things different and fluid. When You Said That We Were Through also shares an influence with the style of Bobby Vinton, when thinking about the background vocals and how they emphasise the main vocals of the song to make them more prominent.
The structure of the song itself follows a slight poetic stanza of some sort; the continuous verse structure with no defining chorus keeps a steady flow of the story. There is a brief moment in this single in which the melody and rhythm changes, providing it with a modern twist and keeping it once again stimulating for the listener.
This single and overall EP has proven to be an incredible movement for Michael Vickers. From learning guitar at a young age to battle his ADHD, to having his music appear on distinguished radio stations, there is certainly a lot of admiration for this artist. From rap to retro, The Beatles to Nirvana, spending his life absorbing such a vast range of music has proven beneficial to Vickers.
Appearing at Glastonbury in 2015 and having his music used in shows from large broadcasters such as ITV, is something Vickers proudly states as an achievement. Vickers is a fluid musician and is never afraid to experiment with his style; he will always have something new to give, so be sure never to limit yourself to only one of his creations.
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