TCS Tapes: The Epic

Eleanor Metcalf 24 November 2013

Clocking in at 8’53”, Mew’s ‘Comforting Sounds’ is the longest song in my iTunes library. But that’s not the main reason for its epic status; it’s the rollercoaster of emotions it evokes which give this track its clout. Despite its deceptively simple opening – solo guitar ostinato mapping out the bare bones of the chord progressions – it features moments of quiet calm alongside jubilant flourishes, transitioning skilfully between the two so gradually that the brilliant climax of the song comes as a wonderful revelation without being jarring or incongruous. Mew’s rich layering of orchestral instruments and subtle use of echo effects contribute to the track’s dramatic nature, differentiating it from your standard 9-minute rock song. The beginning of the track sounds like something you’d listen to alone in dark, but the ending could soundtrack the emotional climax of a 3-hour film: euphoric and revelatory and, well, epic