The best pop songs are those that sound effortless. The ones that flow with a certain simplicity, the ones that sound like they were knocked together during a tea break, songs that pledge obedience to pop’s tried-and-tested structures while also suggesting something new, something exciting, something rebellious even.
It’s often the synth-poppers who get it right. Examine the retro pop of Carly Rae Jepsen or the vintage vibes of La Roux for a masterclass in writing tip-top purist pop music, or the shimmery disco sheen of Daft Punk, who scored one of the decade’s biggest hits with the sensational ‘Get Lucky’. The French duo today find themselves at the helm of ‘Overnight’, the new single by Australian pop band Parcels. Bringing familiar jangly guitars and slick, disco production, the superduo’s grasp on the sparkly synth track is tight.
‘Overnight’ is rich with lush instrumentals blended seamlessly into a silky arrangement. Rather than pairing this with clipped, snappy vocals to complement the production, what we get here is something more earthy and soulful. It makes for a good pairing, albeit a familiar one, the track bearing more than just a passing similarity to ‘Get Lucky’. Daft Punk haven’t moved on much from the post-disco funk they were peddling back in 2013, ‘Overnight’ sounding almost like a sequel to their now signature hit. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s not ideal for a genre that is already so reliant on the past.
‘Overnight’ takes its cues from the funk, disco and synth scene of the 80s, while carrying the distinct flavour of the RnB-infused sound celebrated by Daft Punk. While ‘Get Lucky’ added a touch of the modern to its pastiche of earlier sounds, ‘Overnight’ feels more like a simulacrum, a copy of a copy.
That said, the simple, jaunty chorus of ‘Overnight’ is a quiet triumph. It fizzes with a compelling confidence, its rhythm luring you into its snake-hipped, funkadelic soundscape. ‘Overnight’ might be the track that launches Parcels into the semi-mainstream, but its summery, disco sheen can’t save it from being overshadowed by the robots at the production table.