SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Touche” by The Barettas

by Mark David Stallard

· Review

SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Touche” by The Barettas

 (This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrote for The Invisible Song Club live show.)

“Touche” is a fun, upbeat indie pop tune. 

It starts with fast clack of drumsticks on an rim, and then an alternating with a tap on the snare. All the while the bass drum hits a solid beat. The guitar comes in playing a simple catchy riff, based on the chords. A standard 1 6 4 5 chord progression. A few bars later the guitar switches to strumming the rhythm, the chords echoing the riff. At this point, the energy has built and the voice comes in right where it is expected. 

The vocals are strong, with a little raspy throatiness which adds to the strength of the delivery. It was at this point that I noticed there was no bass guitar—only because I was listening out to identify the instrumentation. But I don’t think I would have noticed otherwise. The song sounds quite full with just the rhythm guitar and drums. 

The chorus comes in surprisingly soft. Had I not had the lyrics in front of me, I might not have identified it as such. But the chorus picks up and returns to the same energy as the verse, and builds nicely into the title, repeating, Touche. 

All the while, the backup vocals provide a close harmony, but I only really noticed it as the chorus came in, when it slows enough to make room for them. However, as the fast past continues throughout, the backup vocals become more clear.  And so the verse and chorus cycle once again, with the energy running high through the verse and then backing off during the chorus and coming back strong. 

At this point, the song could have ended, but they continue adding a bridge, which present the same chord progression with a slightly different melody and energy. Then it ends strong, and satisfyingly suddenly after repeating the chorus once again.

There something familiar about this song, and though not wholly unique. But it does have something fresh about it. I ventured into the comments on the Youtube Video and someone mentioned “The Stray Cats”. I can definitely hear that rockabilly beat. And the use of the 1 6 4 5 chord progression which is used in many classic songs like Stand by Me, Blue Moon, and pretty much every song by the Everly Brothers. And even I have used this progression in one or two of my own songs. So they’re in good company. 

I’m not at all sure what the song is about.  For example, the chorus:

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the captain of our ship said I’m creepin it real. Touche. “ 

Some interesting phrases that bring up some images...a kind of latter day Alice in wonderland. 

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This is fun song, a well executed 2 person performance with a surprisingly full sound. This is no doubt something they could easily reproduce live. I would really like to see them perform, once our current nightmare is over. 

-- Mark David Stallard