Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Top 5 Alternative Sax Solos

If there’s anything other than Barry White that’s associated with sleaze it’s got to be the saxophone. True by Spandau Ballet, Careless Whisper by George Micheal; any Gen X parent probably has a horrendously cringeworthy story to tell their kids about being at a disco slow dancing to one of these tracks. In light of National Saxophone Day (6th November), we’re celebrating some of the best modern day sax solos that won’t make you squirm.

5. Midnight City – M83

Coming with a list as long as your arm of; game, film or tv features, the track is ultimately most well known from being the theme music for reality tv show ‘Made In Chelsea’. A staple to any indie scene kid’s playlist way back in the early 10’s, Midnight City by M83 was quirky, alternative and a track that helped to define a generation. The track’s chorus is purely synth, no lyrics, just a massively catchy synth riff – much the sole reason it’s loved so much. However, something that often gets overlooked is it’s wicked sax solo that begins at 3.02 and lasts for a whole minute to finish the song. It’s the final layer of Midnight City that completes the track. Think about it, would we all love it as much if it was just the same synth the whole way through with no extra oomph?

4. King James – Anderson .Paak

A track paying homage to LeBron James, King James by Anderson .Paak takes a turn back in time to take on a nineties hip hop groove. Paak’s debut single from 2019 album ‘Ventura’, was bass heavy and filled with chilled nostalgia, whilst still championing ‘King James’ and his triumphs through charity work for the African American community. Kicking off with a traditional yet funky saxophone solo, it filters throughout the track, until it gets it’s standalone moment and takes centre stage in the dance circle at 2.41. A track for the funk and soul lovers which still incorporates a good old bit of sax.3.

Hypersonic Missiles – Sam Fender

A man on a mission to get his political standpoint and opinions of the modern day world out there through beautiful lyricism is Sam Fender. 2019 gold single Hypersonic Missiles was a stimulating power anthem honing in on a potential armageddon which translates into an unconventional love song. A track ready made to be screamed at festivals, it possesses an ever growing energy with rumbling drums in the verses that lead to classic guitar rock in the choruses. Following in the footsteps of his influence Bruce Springsteen, the Born To Run inspired sax solo enters at 1.55 to really set the song alight (does what it says on the tin, that’s for sure).

2. Summer Girl – Haim

Stripping back from their prior sugary indie pop records and going on a journey into the unknown, 2019 single Summer Girl by Haim took a detour by taking on an experimental jazz route. Easing in with a massively laid back energy, the rhythm of the track is a huge nod to Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side with pulses of a constant bass guitar and a soft drum beat. More of a frequent saxophone solo as opposed to one big hefty spotlight moment, a criminally cool sax moment enters during the choruses of the track just to make it that ultimate progressional jazz track.

1. Losing My Way – FKJ & Tom Misch

Coming in at number one for one of the best alternative sax solo’s is Losing My Way by FKJ and Tom Misch. The track that’s built with layers and loops of instruments performed by both musicians was a huge success when released on YouTube way back in 2016. After constant nags by fans and music heads, it was released on Spotify 4 years later for new listeners to enjoy as well as everyone who was fed up with keeping their phone open on YouTube just to listen to some music, is it 2011? After an impressive 23 second guitar solo by Misch it’s immediately followed by FJK’s equally talented sax solo at 2.52, a smooth and wonderfully strong addition to the musical masterpiece.

Words by Izzy Sigston

Posted On 3 October, 2022