Tove Lo- Habits [Stay High] (Oliver Nelson Remix)

I think that both the remix and original here are really interesting tracks, but for very different reasons. I’m not entirely sure how many conventional “pop” songs we’ve posted remixes for so far on CasaSwoop, but Tove Lo’s “Habits” is one of those tracks that is without question a pop track, but it’s not quite as vapid as others that I’ve unfortunately had to listen to. Ok, that’s only half true. Musically, this track is a bit of dud. 4 things: vocal, drum, bass, melodic synth. That’s it. Sometimes that’s good, but only when those elements are well blended and individually intriguing enough to stand almost on their own. That’s not the case here, except for the vocal. The vocal is passionate and powerful, but we’ll get to that. The drum beat is a sort of standard 4/4 beat, that rarely strays from that rhythm, other than for a few seconds around 2:40, where it’s just a bass drum that hits every beat. It’s not good. I’d love to see the sheet music for this track, it must be hilarious. The bass line, stays on the same note through each measure, but just reasserts that note on the off beat between beats 2 and 3. Forget about the melody, it’s just a chord of whole notes that changes every measure. At least, that’s what I get out of it, there may be some movements within those sustained chords, but I doubt it. Ok, so that’s the bad, and honestly I can’t really be that upset about it because it’s a pop song and all pop songs follow this sort of standard structure, but allow the vocalist to make it interesting. They also rely on some very nifty editing tricks, such as taking the beat out completely at certain moments in order to make the track feel “bigger” or more epic. However, I still like this song. Why? Because the vocal is awesome. We’ve all had those days when we feel exactly how this track is supposed to make us feel. For me, it’s usually on Sundays after a particularly debaucherous weekend and you start to wonder what the fuck is happening in your life. Sometimes, we go out just to take our minds off of the shit that’s in our lives and no, sometimes it isn’t healthy, but we do it anyway because it feels good and maybe we’ll have some fun. The musicality in this song may be near zero, but goddam sometimes there’s more to it than that. That being said, Oliver Nelson’s remix is better. I mean, way better. It uses the same vocal, but funks the shit out of it. Right off the bat, that bass line is just wonderful. Granted, I’m pretty biased towards Nu Disco, but for some reason this song just works with a funky bass. Other than that, the drum beat is more than just the same measure looped over itself, it has depth and mingles with the bass really well, especially when it breaks down at the end of a few measures and goes down the tom-toms. The melodic elements are fine, nothing more than a muffled piano, but at least that piano has some rhythm and is more than just whole note chords. Also, at around 3:30, the melody goes full funk and this really great piano solo sort of dances along the background. Just a fantastic added touch from Oliver Nelson, who yet again crushes a remix. Please listen to them both below and comment with your thoughts!

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