Called Out in the Dark

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"Called Out in the Dark"
Single by Snow Patrol
from the album Fallen Empires
  • "Fallen Empires"
  • "My Brothers"
  • "I'm Ready"
Released 2 September 2011
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011 Topanga Canyon
(Los Angeles)
Genre Alternative rock, electro-pop,[1] indietronica
Length 4:03
Label Polydor Records
Songwriter(s) Gary Lightbody[2]
Producer(s) Jacknife Lee
Snow Patrol singles chronology
"An Olive Grove Facing the Sea"
"Called Out in the Dark"
"This Isn't Everything You Are"
"An Olive Grove Facing the Sea"
"Called Out in the Dark"
"This Isn't Everything You Are"
Music video
"Called Out in the Dark" on YouTube

"Called Out in the Dark" is a song by Northern Irish rock band Snow Patrol. The track was released as the first single from the band's sixth studio album Fallen Empires on 2 September 2011. It was made available both independently and on an EP with three other tracks from Fallen Empires. "Called Out in the Dark" was shortlisted for Meteor Choice Music Prize Irish Song of the Year 2011.[3] A version of the track also exists which is remixed by Norman Cook.

Background and writing[edit]

The song was written by the band's frontman Gary Lightbody and produced by Jacknife Lee, who has worked on their previous three albums.[4] It was recorded in Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles. The single premiered on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show on July 21, 2011 and was released on September 2, 2011.[4]

The song, along with other tracks on Fallen Empires, finds Snow Patrol venturing into dance territory. Lightbody told The Sun: "I've always DJed and dance music has always been a big part of our lives, but it's never really been part of the music. So we just let go a little bit this time."[4]


Beginning with an underlying, steady acoustic guitar riff that runs relentlessly throughout the track, quickly followed by a dancelike drumbeat which boldly kicks in alongside Gary Lightbody’s distinct vocals declaring, 'it's like we just can't help ourselves cause we don't know how to back down.' "As the kids took back the parks," Lightbody sings, "You and I were left with the streets."[5] The song builds momentum and reaches a climax with a striking, textured, electronic heavy chorus, 'we are listening and we are not blind, this is your life, this is your time.' The song aptly ends with the repeating guitar riff and its accompanying drum riff.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received mostly mixed reviews from critics. Mike Haydock from BBC Music wrote that the song "is a pure mistake of style over substance: a song that has the traditional Snow Patrol shape, dominated by Gary Lightbody's vocal, but where the guitars have been binned just for the sake of it, just to try something 'new'. It sounds too try-hard and trite."[7] Priya Elan from NME wrote a negative review of the track, saying that "it is wall-less, minimalist song in the worst sense of the word."[8] He also criticized the chorus, writing that "is perhaps more disappointing than the verses, because it finds the band dropping the football stadium-like anthems for something that is not unlike the fey, coffee shop electronics that could be found on The Feeling's last album."[8] He also commented about the vocal performance of the band's vocalist, writing that "as Lightbody goes into falsetto, he sounds like he's trying to do a blue-eyed, Will Young impression, but ends up sounding far too studied."[8] Neil Ashman from Drowned in Sound wrote that "it would be a stretch to call the splashes of synth colour and buzzing basslines of ... 'Called Out in the Dark' anything more than cosmetic additions to tuneful, but unremarkable guitar pop."[9]

A positive review came from Cherwell's Susan Yu, who wrote that "it is a delightful, electronica infused, powerful gem of a song."[6] Simon Gage from Daily Star also wrote a positive review, saying that the song "has a slight bounce."[10]

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Called Out in the Dark" was first released onto YouTube on 17 August 2011 at a total length of four minutes and twenty-five seconds. With a dance choreographed by Noémie Lafrance, it features appearances by Tara Summers and Jack Davenport. Brett Simon directed the music video.[4]

The music video, centered around a video shoot, sees Gary Lightbody (as stand-in), amongst dancers and the singer portrayed by Davenport, make a nuisance of himself on the set of the shoot. Lightbody tries hard to take part in the video and Tara Summers (director) precludes him from doing so. By the end of the video, the dancers are down to their underwear and Lightbody has grabbed a hold of the camera as it cranes out.

Track listing[edit]

UK Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Called Out in the Dark" 4:03
2. "Fallen Empires" 5:20
3. "My Brothers" 3:32
4. "I'm Ready" 3:23
German 2-track CD-single
No. Title Length
1. "Called Out in the Dark" 4:03
2. "My Brothers" 3:32
UK 2-track Promo CD-single
No. Title Length
1. "Called Out in the Dark" (radio mix) 3:32
2. "Called Out in the Dark" (instrumental) 4:02

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011–12) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[11] 79
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[12] 23
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[13] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[14] 10
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[15][16] 70
Denmark (Tracklisten)[17] 35
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[18] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 15
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[20] 30
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 5
Luxembourg (Billboard)[22] 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[23] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[24] 35
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[25] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[26] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 11
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 78
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[29] 5
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[30] 27
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[31] 15
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[32] 36
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[33] 37

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Position
German Singles Chart[34] 74
UK Singles Chart[35] 185


Country Provider Certification
Germany BVMI Gold[36]

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format Label
United Kingdom 2 September 2011[37] Digital download Polydor Records


  1. ^ Chinen, Nate (2012-01-09). "New Albums by 3ballMTY and Snow Patrol". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  2. ^ "Called Out In the Dark". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Search on for Irish Song of the Year". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Called Out in the Dark by Snow Patrol Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Nate Chinen (10 November 2011). "New Albums by 3ballMTY and Snow Patrol - Review -". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ a b Yu, Susan (6 August 2011). " | Music | Review: Snow Patrol - Called Out In The Dark by Susan Yu". Cherwell. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Mike Haydock (18 March 2012). "BBC - Music - Review of Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires". BBC. 
  8. ^ a b c Elan, Priya (22 July 2011). "Snow Patrol, 'Called Out In The Dark' - Review - reviews - NME.COM - The world's fastest music news service, music videos, interviews, photos and more". NME. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Ashman, Neil (14 November 2011). "Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Simon Gage (11 November 2011). "Snow Patrol, 'Fallen Empires'; Daily Express". Daily Express. 
  11. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 19 September 2011" (PDF) (1125). Pandora Archive. September 30, 2011: 4. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  12. ^ " – Snow Patrol – Called Out in the Dark" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  13. ^ " – Snow Patrol – Called Out in the Dark" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ " – Snow Patrol – Called Out in the Dark" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Snow Patrol - Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Fallen Empires - Snow Patrol - Awards (Billboard Singles)". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  17. ^ "Snow Patrol – Called Out in the Dark" (in Danish). Tracklisten.
  18. ^ "Snow Patrol: Called Out in the Dark" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ " – Snow Patrol Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  20. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  21. ^ "Chart Track: Week 36, 2011". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs - October 8, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 April 2013. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Snow Patrol search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  24. ^ " – Snow Patrol – Called Out in the Dark". Top 40 Singles.
  25. ^ "Archive Chart: 11-09-17". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  26. ^ " – Snow Patrol – Called Out in the Dark". Swiss Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Archive Chart: 11-09-17" UK Singles Chart.
  28. ^ "Snow Patrol – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Snow Patrol.
  29. ^ "Snow Patrol – Chart history" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Snow Patrol.
  30. ^ "Snow Patrol – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Snow Patrol.
  31. ^ "Snow Patrol – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Snow Patrol.
  32. ^ "Snow Patrol – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Snow Patrol.
  33. ^ "Snow Patrol – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Snow Patrol.
  34. ^ "2011 MTV EMA - News". Archived from the original on 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  35. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on September 15, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "Bundesverband Musikindustrie: Gold-/Platin-Datenbank". Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  37. ^ Called Out In the Dark - EP by Snow Patrol iTunes

External links[edit]