Galloping onto the Cambridge music scene seemingly out of nowhere, Collars have certainly made their presence felt in the last few months, with all manner of content. Stylish videos, hot radio features, and a slew of well received tunes.
And with this year being how it is, there’s certainly no time to waste…actually that’s not true there’s nothing but time to waste if anything. The point is, unlike the rest of us lazy procrastinators, Collars have not stopped for breath, and have just dropped the sparkly new single ‘Hey Lizzie, Lay It On Me’.
Like many duos throughout history, be it The Ting Tings, The White Stripes, or Royal Blood (or preferably not Royal Blood; I don’t have the time, word count or will to live to go into why I can’t stand them), Collars play a lot of instruments with a little amount of people. Their stage shows often resemble an understaffed musical jumble sale.
But this is by no means a detriment to the music, which is out in full force on this new track. It starts sparse, with hits from the drums and jangly guitar stabs, a tone familiar to fans of The Kooks and Tugboat Captain. And we get wandering, casual vocals akin to the likes of Lily Allen.
In a way, the vocal is quite deceptive, because it lulls you into a certain laid back mindset before hitting you with some meaty harmonies, supported by dancehall synths. And from there, the song, like the band, does a lot with a little, gliding through the song with ample variety and introducing new sections that keep the tone fresh throughout.
Though it’s largely a jangly lackadaisical tune, there are some neat chordal switches that add the necessary tension throughout, and the vocals are intimately phrased but casually delivered, pulling you into the conversation. It’s a song that really gets you involved, and it grows with repeat listens, which is always nice, as we know.
The Ting Tings again spring to mind, not merely for their similarly stripped back line up, but for their punky attitude, paired with upbeat pop songwriting. Collars certainly feel a little rougher around the edges though, but that only adds more to the enjoyment. They feel wiry and rickety, like the underdog at a boxing tournament, and who doesn’t love an underdog?
‘Hey Lizzie, Lay It On Me’ is bright, tongue-in-cheek, and fun. This is perhaps Collars’ best tune yet, and it shows that the band have real staying power. It’s something fresh and a bit different, delivered with charm. Don’t sleep on it.