Music Styles: From a Whisper to a Scream – The Mark of Musical Genius


Ok. Stop whatever you’re doing. I don’t care what you are in the middle of, even if you’re at home or in public and don’t have headphones. I just want you to take a moment to listen to this song, ‘Depth Over Distance,’ by British artist Ben Howard.

Now I’ll give you the context. I often listen to music in the background at work and usually put on a generic indie or acoustic playlist and get on with it.

I was listening to one such playlist the other day and was totally blown away by this song.

Though Howard has many great songs, I would definitely consider this to be one of his best. It has the perfect combination of beautiful harmonies, skillful use of guitar and simplistic lyrics.

What I find best about this song comes at around 3:10. There is a musical interlude that has the style of a song fading out and is just long enough to grab your attention, either because you think the song is ending or because you are waiting for the next part and the pause causes tension. Then just at that point when you turn to the screen to see what is going on, he belts out the rest of the song with completely raw passion.

This is one of my favorite musical styles, and if you haven’t been living under a rock, you will have heard the same thing used in many Mumford and Son’s songs. The one that comes to mind as the most effective with this is their song ‘Lover of the Light’.

It is the second single from their second studio album Babel. If you pay particular attention from 3:30, there is a short pause and then the musical interlude that builds up the tension, (the video builds on this but you have to see that for yourself.) Then just as the music has built up to its climax, the chorus starts again and Markus Mumford belts out at the top of his lungs (as he so often does),  “Lover of the Light”.

So when you next need cheering up or a motivational push, listen to one of these types of songs that build up to raw musical awesomeness.

FEATURED IMAGE: By annurca under [CC-2.0], via Flickr


About Author

20 something psych grad and music enthusiast. Manager by day, pub chiller by night.