Daily Song Study

Depeche Mode – Little 15

In songs on July 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Some artists get tied to a particular time or movement, sometimes for obvious reasons. Take the case of Depeche Mode.

They were very obviously an outgrowth of the synth-pop boom in the early 1980s. At one time their membership boasted Vince Clarke, who later went on to form/become Erasure, one of the genre’s signature acts of the decade. But Depeche Mode was always a hair off-center, owing largely to the idiosyncratic songwriting of Martin Gore, and the strangely dark baritone vocals of David Gahan. Yes, they had radio hits, but even those were weird as hell.

As I’ve mentioned before, my brain contains this built-in layer remover that can hear the song beneath the production. And listening to Depeche Mode, it’s clear that these songs are much more than synth-pop. Today’s tune is a prime example. It could easily be performed by a string quartet, or on solo piano, or any number of different musical settings. But being a child of the ’80s, I do enjoy the treatment here.


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