I am a sucker for any song that uses layers of instrumental riffs to emphasize an insistent, galloping, every-quarter-note rhythm, and Shea Coulée’s “Feeling So” does that in the best possible way.
Every time I listened to “Feeling So,” the first thought that pops into my head is “wow, this is like an update of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ by Tears For Fears.” Every single time I think it is a new thought, and I am impressed with myself for noticing the reference, and then after a minute I think, “Hold on, surely this has occurred to me before…”
I think the the thing the two songs have in common is how they layer different instruments with slightly differing rhythms to achieve the net effect of emphasizing every beat. In “Rule The World,” it’s the way the insistent bassline marries to the back-and-forth step of the synth, later topped with the peal of of guitar picking from the intro.
“Feeling So” is built the same way. It has an opening synth riff that continues burbling in the background like a melodic fountain. It has the same driving gallop of bass. And, it has that same step-and-repeat of passing synth chords.
The difference is how “Feeling So” later breaks that that rhythm. When the staccato chords of the pre-chorus interrupt the bassline it feels like a change in temperature – as if we’re on the verge of a shock. But, the song eases us back into the familiar gallop with the reintroduction of the bubbling synth in the background of the next section.
I think it’s the continuous rhythm, break, and return that has encoded this song into my brain so deeply, tempering my neural pathways with every repeat of the cycle.
Also that it really does song like an update of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” with a hint of the sunny disposition of Madonna’s “Cherish” – and that’s a sonic lineage that I cannot resist.