Edition 152

In this week’s Our Take, we bring you the algorithm that’s driving record producers to take the Motown mantra – don’t bore us, get to the chorus – to ever-faster speeds, the French baker that banned butter, the British bakery that dropped beats, and a vital, positive take on social housing (with a missing song).

Hit us with your algorithm shtick

Motown mogul Berry Gordy famously told his songwriters, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus”, but a new study has revealed that it’s TikTok that’s calling the shots now, reshaping the very DNA of the music we hear.

Video killed the radio star, but TikTok is music’s latest serial killer. Songs with catchy hooks and memorable phrases perform best on platforms like TikTok, where they fuel viral challenges and user-generated content. In response, producers are butchering song-lengths and cutting lyrics down to punchy soundbites engineered for algorithms.

But it’s not just song-length that TikTok is changing – it’s also tempo. TikTok’s editors are cranking up the speed – and sound – of their videos, and the high-pitched results are finding widespread viral success across TikTok and beyond.

The craze is so massive that artists and labels are jumping on the bandwagon, dropping their ‘official’ sped-up versions onto streaming platforms.

Are we sacrificing musical integrity for virality? Yes. Are we slaves to the algorithm? Also yes. Will you find us listening to Raye’s Prada sped up four times and making TikToks with it? You betcha.

France’s Secret (vegan) army

Famous French baker, Landemaine, recently introduced butter-free croissants to his five Paris shops, and French feathers are decidedly ruffled.

France is grappling with all sorts of new influences and ‘le wokeism’, but it might be croissants ‘sans beurre’ that pushes them over the edge. Speaking to the BBC about the shocking revelation, one cookery teacher said “it’s difficult for me to even talk about making a croissant without butter”. Poor fella.

Landemaine plans to expand his dairy-free bakeries, but won’t advertise that his bakery is vegan, as the idea of veganism in France is considered too ‘militant’. As one of France’s secret vegans explained, when she orders coffee with oat milk, “I see the judgement in their eyes, it’s just not part of their culture”.

This baker has his eyes on the pies and plans to change the world, one butter-free pastry at a time.

Raves and (sausage) rolls

Photo: Greggs

Greggs hosting a rave is not something we had on our marketing stunt bingo cards, for 2024, but here we are. For the launch of a new track, “Yesterday”, by  Schak and Will Atkinson, the high-street eatery transformed one store in Newcastle into a full-blown rave venue.

Hilariously, the two DJs took to the decks kitted out in the iconic, if unglamorous, Greggs uniforms. Then, surrounded by sausage rolls, glow sticks and smoke, they turned up the heat, dropped the beat, and raved the night away with 60 fans. 

The event was ballsy but Greggs is bold and brave enough to make it work. Fans loved it, and the activation went viral on Tik Tok and other social media platforms. 

Where’s Our house?

Image: Shelter

The ongoing housing crisis in the UK has left 1.3 million households on waiting lists for social housing. A new campaign from Shelter called  ‘Made in Social Housing’ is pushing the government to provide more homes. Through an emotive film, the campaign shows the value of social housing for individuals and communities with a strong cast of famous faces proudly sharing their own positive stories of growing up in social housing.

On a side note, as the film featured Suggs, we were expecting to be hit with the Madness classic Our House – itself a love letter to growing up in a council house, but the creative team thought otherwise apparently.

Still, it’s a powerful campaign that doesn’t just challenge those in power to understand the severity of the crisis, it shatters the stigma around social housing, and shows the importance of proper investment in homes.

Check it out here!

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