By Mike Frash //
You can’t find a texture bed more minimalist than the repeating finger snap. When you think about it, cavemen and cave women probably made music by pressing their hand digits together.
And lately, finger snapping has bubbled up from the underground as dance producers have come to dominate modern pop production. And it’s everywhere. So, here are some songs from the past 30 months or so that have finger snaps and likely won’t make you want to project sharpened pencils in your ear hole. Unless you’re a rock purist — then you’ll probably hate this shit.
11. Glass Animals – “Gooey”
Glass Animals might have goofier lyrics than alt-J and Phish combined, but their sexy-smooth lounge rock is catching on. This finger snap in “Gooey” is more like a jangly clap-snap, but it counts.
10. Run The Jewels – “Sea Legs”
I try to infuse Killer Mike & El-P’s partnership Run the Jewels into most conversations, so why not find a way to get them on this snap list. Snaps only bookend “Sea Legs”, but look, I’m just trying to promote Meow the Jewels. Let’s make this happen.
9. Autre Ne Veut – “Counting”
Arthur Ashin’s falsetto-led future pop channels pain and chaos into a tight, emotive package with “Counting”, using brass and guitar as accent elements while the percussion, including (yes) snaps, dominate the mix.
8. Tinashe, Schoolboy Q – “2 On”
Tinashe released her likable first record in October 2014, and with “2 On”, she takes traditional male language and seemingly repackages it into “break-the-glass-ceiling” R&B-rap rhyming, that is until Schoolboy Q sets everything (unfortunately) back to normal with his opening line, “Uh, pull your panties down from under you, beat that pussy up, make you wanna holler Q.” Still, it’s a pretty addictive track.
7. How To Dress Well – “& It Was U”
Tom Krell is adept at letting his voice carry the emotional weight of his music, and none of his songs show this better than the snap-dominated “& It Was U”.
6. Classixx – “Dominoes”
Electronic music this silky and easy to digest puts it in the cross hairs of where pop is going, and the duo’s live show is a euphoric good time. Classixx will be at Treasure Island Music Festival 2014 in SF.
5. Perfume Genius – “Fool”
The new record from Perfume Genius is a gem, and Mike Hadreas gives a heaven’s call of a bellow in the middle of “Fool”, all while using snaps to keep the tune grounded.
4. DJ Koze – “Amydala (feat. Milosh)”
If you never got around to listening to DJ Koze’s 2013 masterpiece Amydgala, get on that. The song “Amydala” features Milosh (the singer from Rhye), whose voice blends with all the musical elements on this driving track. Look for the snaps to add another layer on the back third.
3. Darkside – “Paper Trails”
The magical collaboration between Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington may be on hiatus (read our review here from their only SF show), but we can still revisit one of the best songs from 2013, which keeps its methodical pace with a snap (or at least a modulated clap that sounds like a snap).
2. Lorde – “Royals”
To not include Lorde’s wubby, snap-paced “Royals” in this list would be playing hipster-devil’s advocate. Lorde’s music is much better than most radio fodder (ahem Foster The People and Robin Thicke). And how is she only 17 still? She’s tracking ahead of Madonna in her influence on the pop landscape.
1. Dillon Francis feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Without You”
DF + TEED combined forces for this 2013 insta-classic that uses finger snaps as the critical, minimalist linchpin for the inverted drop.
BONUS: We can’t forget the Super Mario Theme finger snap guy: