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I heard this song "Believe" recently, and the Eb major chord stood out to me. The song is in E major, so I'm wondering how that Eb triad can be looked at. Even if it was spelt as a D# major triad, it still doesn't fit with the key of E or any of its modes.

Anyone have thoughts on how to analyze it? I know it's a doubly chromatic mediant (if considered a D# triad), but I don't know how else to look at it.

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    Sounds like it could be another tts - this time in place of A7 (IV7). – Tim Apr 20 at 11:09
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    "corda con picante" (not a real term) – user45266 Apr 20 at 20:13
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A curiously simple music effect.

Yes, I agree with you that thinking of it as a chromatic mediant gives it the most function. It should not be labeled as “Eb” but as you suggested, “D#”. In context of E major, this would then make it a non-diatonic leading tone chord, but leaving it at that overlooks the chord’s function:

The first line oscillates between “E” and “G#m”. The latter chord is a iii and is diatonic to the key. Here’s where the music gets interesting:

The 2nd line of music moves to “F#m”. In context of E major, this chord is a ii and would normally serve as a predominant. However, its predominant function is delayed by an intervening chromatic mediant (“D#”). The move between these two chords is a mirror image from the first line. It is this relationship that makes the move functionally cohesive. Add to that that this non-sequitur chord happens on the line “dreams are calling”, adding to the ethereal intent, making this chord move not only interesting but cohesive as well.

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    Hooo boy, we're getting into the spicy stuff! +1! – user45266 Apr 20 at 20:13

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