So you’ve listened to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Rabbit Heart ‘(Raise it up) a few too many times than you’d like to admit. BUT, whilst you were making shapes to the song alone in your bedroom, probably wearing some sort of headwear, with your neighbor looking in, (I speak from experience) did you ever pick up, that it sounds remarkably similar to Gang Gang Dance’s “House Jam”? No. Because you were too busy ‘jamming’ in your ‘house’, right?
Well, the peeps from Gang Gang Dance DID notice. They’re so convinced of the parallels between the two songs that they’ve approached Florence’s label, Island, to inquire about receiving publishing royalties to the track, previously credited to Paul Epworth and Florence Welch respectively.
According to Gang Gang Dance’s publisher Warp, “They (Island) did acknowledge the infringement and said that they were aware of it.” Welch herself said it was a “mistake” to not have credited them in the first place, reports Pitchfork.
Welch also admitted that she was “…a massive fan of Gang Gang Dance” and the song “was in homage to them.” Homage is an interesting word. When lyrics and melody are taken directly from one song and used in another, ‘homage’ could perhaps become ‘copy’. If only they had aknowlegded this ‘homage’ on the albums sleeve.
Welch has said that she is happy to pay royalties, but there is no legal confirmation as to whether this will go ahead. Either way, it’s a mighty fine dose of publicity for the small, relatively unknown New York electronic band.
It comes without saying though, that in hundreds of years of music making; ideas, melodies, lyrics etc., are eventually going to overlap. And you know what, sometimes people get the odd case of writers block and they have but no choice to ‘appropriate’. It happens to the best of us. Did someone say… Oasis?
Title Image by Simone Joyner via Getty