In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Bad at Love” – Nora Toutain
How We Found It
The Moroccan-born, Canadian-raised singer-songwriter, Nora Toutain greatly impressed us with her funky debut single hitting our Submithub inbox. While she may only have a few original songs and covers on her YouTube channel, she is gearing up for her first major release in 2020. The bilingual singer is kicking off the new decade in the best way possible.
Her brand of alternative R&B music can be described as seamlessly moving across genres like pop, neo-soul, funk, and jazz, with hints of afro rhythms — a direct reference to her musical upbringing and early cultural experiences.
Why We Like It
When it comes to pop songs, I want a tune that will get me off my feet and dance across the room. I want to forget whatever and I’m doing and live in the moment of that song. Nora Toutain’s “Bad at Love” does that tremendously. Sonically, it starts off as a cute, breezy song with layered harmonies that get me floating. Heavy doo-wop influences are apparent and caught my ear immediately. Then the bass line starts hitting with the first verse and my shoulders are flying away. As soon as the chorus goes around for round two, I’m soaring and I don’t want to come back down. Her vocals are exuberant and give off a feeling of care-free joy.
Lyrically, the song is adorably clumsy as it expresses its unusual approach to verbalizing love. They love “love” but can’t clearly outright tell the person how they’re the object of their affection. It’s cute and realistic because everyone can’t say sweet nothings without fumbling a few words.
The accompanying video is just as loose and carefree as the song with a dance and sense of community created with the backup dancers. They’re on rooftops and letting the sunshine just as bright as the accompanying track. It’s a colorful and fun easy watch.
The production of this track really shines as the storyteller. It never lets itself rest. It goes from the doo-wop that initially starts the track to the horn-filled main beat to another shift that takes the song to the next level for me. At the 3:16 mark, just when I thought the song was ending, it instead elevated itself to the stratosphere to become something more. The beat sees the sun itself and catches fire to explode with distortion and layering the vocals into the hi-hats until the song finally lands to earth to cool down in the ocean. Instead of floating on air, I’m floating on the water, relaxed, refreshed and oddly enough, ready for another crack at love. I enjoyed every second of it and had the repeat button already set to experience it all over again.
From The Artist
Basically, “Bad at Love” was my first love song, in a sense that it was the first song I was able to talk about love and express the feeling of love. For some reason, it was always hard to talk about love from past experiences. It was not easy [to talk about love], so it was hard to tune in and let go of the fear. So I put aside love lyrics for a long time and I knew eventually I would write a love song because I would fall in love. And it happened and I’m still with that partner. So I was talking with Chris [the producer and co-writer] that we need to have a love song. Every project has a love song. So we decided to dive into the unknown and write. But our pages were blank after 5 minutes, even though we’re both in relationships. So I was like “okay perfect, this is what the song will be about”. It’s gonna be about breaking this myth and demystifying this notion of having to smoothly express yourself. Some people are clumsy. Some people don’t know the right words. This is a call for authenticity and to support intentions versus the package. What is it really about deep down? Your true intention, your feelings, your motive.” – Nora Toutain for CentralSauce
More From The Artist
More to Discover
Check out this continuously updated playlist of songs Tyler has added to our Discovery section! Each track or artist has been featured in our “Why We Like It” section, so be sure to check out the page here on the site.