Consistent Collaboration

Lake Street Dive, a four-piece band makes pretty songs with sexy stand up bass hooks that stay in your mind for days.

I saw them play with my girlfriend’s band (Midnight Moxie) a few weeks ago and I had to get their album.

Watching the show live, I assumed that the songs had been written by the female lead singer with the smooth torchlight voice but when I looked at the liner notes I found out that the songs were mostly written by the other members of the band. Each  player had contributed a few songs to the album. This blew me away, not because the singer wasn’t the main writer*, but because of the consistently high quality of the music by different authors.

It’s not that the songs all sound the same, they don’t. But they do all have the same singer regardless of the writer, and the instrumentation changes based on the needs of the songs, not because one or another of the band members wants to play guitar on the song she/he wrote.

This may seem to be a small thing, but it’s not a given with all bands, and it really works for this one. They have a dynamo singer and it would be a bummer to sit her down for a song.

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*As the singer in a band, I guess I give my counterparts extra credit because I naturally identify with them. Maybe it’s natural for folks watching any kind of popular music to identify most with the singer.  He/she stands in the middle, he/she tells the story, and he/she doesn’t have a trap set in front of her/him or a flute blocking her/his face. That doesn’t mean that person is the most important part of the band, it just means she/he attracts the most attention.