Best tunes of 2003: #20 South “Loosen your hold”

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This will be a short but sweet post for this happy Friday because South’s “Loosen your hold” is a rare example of a song that I truly loved but never managed to discover much about its creators.

All I really know about South are facts that I’ve gleaned from Wikipedia. That Joel Cadbury, Brett Shaw, and Jamie McDonald formed the group in London back in 1998, each were multi-instrumentalists and that apart from Cadbury’s lead vocals, the group shared the work of creating the other sounds amongst themselves. They’ve released five studio albums in total, the most recent being last year’s “From here on out”, but the only one I’m really familiar with their sophomore record, 2003’s “With the tides”.

I’d heard about the song “Loosen your hold” and heard the group compared to Travis, Coldplay, Doves, and Elbow, all groups that were, at that time, filling the British musical void left by the mighty tumble from grace of 90s Britpop. The song certainly fit the mould for me and persuaded me to check out the rest of the album. Ghostly harmonies hover over a banjo and a harpsichord playing hopscotch, and it’s all glued together with thick and sinewy synths.

“So loosen your hold
Though you might be frightened
Release or be caught
If this be the right thing”

It might not save the world but it’ll likely bring a smile to your face.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2003 list, click here.

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