Bands which play with the musical format of the modern pop song are always the most interesting. We have been making music using the same instruments for the last 60 years and with the exception of developments in synths and sampling, little has changed in the basic tools we use to do so. But there have been options available going back much further in time, why shouldn’t instruments more associated with the classical and the orchestral be brought into the pop picture.
The Sneaky Fourth have already worked this out and they use the standard, finger-picked acoustic guitar as well as the less expected cello and double bass to build subtle and supple folk meets classical meets pop music. Without You is a brilliant textural blend of gently sweeping cello and pulsing organic bass lines under pinning guitar lines which move from dexterous picking to vibrant strumming. The result is a glorious new direction for pop, if indeed we can even limit it with such a label.