Song of the day: Delays – "Hideaway"

February 6, 2010

I can’t for the life of me figure out why this particular song popped into my head and beckoned me to make it today’s Song of the day. I hadn’t heard this song since it was released in 2006, and I was listening to Mike Viola‘s Lurch at the time, so I’m at a complete loss as to why this totally-unrelated-to-anything ditty chose to appear. Ah, the mysteries of the human mind…

Anyway, today’s song is by British band the Delays, and you’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of them before. As far as I can tell, they’ve received minimal (if any) coverage in the press in Australia, and I’m guessing it’s the same in the US. They may be better known in the UK, though. (I hope so, because that’s where they’re from.)

If you haven’t heard anything by the Delays, then allow me to rectify this slightly dreadful state of affairs and acquaint you with…

Delays – “Hideaway” (2006)


You can keep your Radiohead, Muse, Coldplay and all those other terribly serious bands from the UK – I’d much rather listen to the Delays.

“Hideaway” appears on the Delays’ 2006 album, You See Colours. As a bonus, and because I’m in the mood to listen to some more Delays, here’s the album’s opening track:

Delays – “You And Me” (2006)


To my ears, the Delays have that Big Earnest Sound™ currently used by U2, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Keane etc, but with infinitely better tunes. (Well, that’s what I think anyway. Feel free to disregard any of my opinions if you’re emotionally attached to any of those bands. I don’t like em, but you might.)

Incidentally, a lot of people think that it was U2 who begat the Big Earnest Sound™, but I reckon it was Simple Minds who started it all. They slapped reverb (i.e., echo) on everything in their recordings, and their music ended up sounding enormous. (I was going to use the word “cavernous” but I already used that in another post. Considering that every Simple Minds song sounds as if it was recorded at the bottom of a canyon, how about “canyonesque”?).

To me, U2 pinched Simple Minds’ Big Earnest Sound™ and ran with it on their way to world domination. Then Coldplay came along with a diluted version of U2’s Big Earnest Sound™ on their way to world domination.

Unfortunately for me, there are now plenty of bands from all over the globe employing the Big Earnest Sound™ – even Australia, where Eskimo Joe is currently the King of the Big Earnest Sound™. (Eskimo Joe started out as a little power-poppy three-piece band but now they sound like a 726-piece band. And they’ve become very earnest.)

But you may completely disagree with my pompous pronouncements, and that’s fair enough. For all I know, you may like your rock Very Big and Extra Earnest. As they say in the land of Americans: your mileage may vary.

Nevertheless, if I was asked to name a Big Earnest Sound™ band that I do like (and I’m full aware that no-one has – or is likely to), I’d say without hesitation that it’s the Delays. Vive la tunes!