Single review: Three Minute Hero – Leaving San Francisco
Artist – Three Minute Hero
Single – Leaving San Francisco
Release date – 4th December 2017
Reviewer – Alison Benson
Leaving San Francisco is the latest single to be released by Three Minute Hero. A song about gentrification, it provides a critique of the displacement that often arises due to the effects of increasing rent for both businesses and homes.
The song opens with a simple but confident strummed guitar, tambourine and electric guitar playing a short pattern of harmonics, repeated after each verse. The opportunity to reference the hippy movement focussed in San Francisco in the 1960s does not escape the songwriter who uses the idea of ‘flowers in their hair’ to good effect twice in the song, firstly to say that ‘nobody is wearing any flowers in their hair’ and later singing ‘yuppies taking over dollar signs in their hair’. A poignant note to the changes seen in that city.
A real change in the middle eight with a more hopeful vibe musically, with a driving guitar strum pattern, but with the acknowledgement that for some it’s time to leave as ‘the dream is over’. The final verse returns to 1960s references turned on their heads to ‘no peace and love in San Francisco’ and the acknowledgement again of gentrification forcing out poorer people.
Short, but perfectly formed Leaving San Francisco makes it’s point well, with purposeful lyrics and a musical tone that pays homage to the 60s (without being a pastiche). It clearly lives up to the band’s description of ‘elevating the classic three minute pop song by giving it a subversive lyrical twist.’
Alison is a singer songwriter based in Liverpool. She loves acoustic music of all types, especially folk and anything that involves a ukulele. She encountered Liverpool Acoustic in 2016 and later that year won the audience vote at the Songwriting Challenge so is really pleased to have the opportunity to do some writing for them.