Imagine early Maroon 5 meets the younger grit of Arctic Monkeys, then you’re halfway to Serotones latest single, ‘Are You Listening?’.
Distorted off-beat guitar chords play under a heavy driven riff establishing the tracks feel. Northern vocals bring that notorious Yorkshire styled narrative we’ve heard a lot of in the past decade with vernacular tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The energy of the music picks up towards the chorus, with a strong rhythm section dictating the consistent stamina of ‘Are You Listening?’.
The chorus moves in an effective, but fairly predictable direction. The lyrics “Are you listening to me? Or Am I imagining this? Are you listening, listen to me please, ‘cause I’m imagining you and me, you and me” throughout the chorus, it feels a little unimaginative and at times, the phrasing of certain words feel like they’ve been overstretched in an attempt to fit the music. The vocals in the chorus sound a little dry and could have been assisted with either backing vocals or reverb to thicken them out as they feel as if they’re battling with the instrumentation.
The band have played about with the structure in the latter half of the track. After a short breakdown and the last batch of repeated choruses, ‘Are You Listening?’ eventually fades out after a guitar solo lasting just short of a minute. The half time drums were a nice addition to the solo, but the duration takes away its impact and could afford to be halved in length.
‘Are You Listening’ holds a decent level of composition, but the instrumentation overshadows the vocals at multiple points throughout the track. Exploring harmonies or vocals effects would seriously improve the overall quality of the song. It also would have been beneficial for the band to incorporate more unique elements, as a lot of the stylistic choices can be likened to established indie-rock artists.