I love the Softies, maybe it was because I'm now reminiscing about that high school time of my life, but to find something that wasn't going to make my ears bleed...something that was borderline cutesy, there was something kind of interesting about it... that somehow it was as awkward as the time period. No one understands and everything is so freaking sad...and eventually you get sick of the Smiths and the Cure, so here come the Softies. They took the depression and made it twee. To this day I can't say exactly what it is about their sound...maybe because it's so minimal, and all harmony...but mostly it's the melodies. Like Belle and Sebastian, they really work in unexpected ways, it was so stripped down, there was nothing but almost acapella. They were a guilty pleasure of course, not someone I would go around telling everyone about, like Morrisseys solo career. I loved Bona Drag, but it was strictly for the headphones, late at night, or the back of the bus. Flipping the tape over and over...maybe that's why my generation loves random because that was such a luxury, having songs back to back from great albums you loved...no wading through the ok ones...the radio sucked so it would never happen there, it was up to you to spend an entire night fast forwarding and pressing 'play & record'.
Young whippersnappers you take random for granted...and smart playlists that will make up a weekly top 10 countdown for you? Is it all leading down a more and more self centered existence? I want bands that write songs only for me? What about that shitty shared experience...something to rail against like Happy Harry Hardon.
This brings me to the Sweater Girls, who sound way more confident, no mumbling, or harmony that's so saturated you lose the words and they become a MBV electric wall. I forget which Softies album it is...Rhode Island? The guitar is so sparse, and there are just moments of silence in between the super slow chords....it's completely farmhouse in the middle of nebraska winter. Sweater Girls might actually be closer to Bunnygrunt...it's the same happy go lucky, smart little non sequitors, with cats eye glasses...not so serious...they even throw in a slight english accent. You could see this being played in Ghostworld, or don't make me think about it...that annoying I'm pregnant and precocious movie. But don't let that ruin them. It can be cool to be super uncool? Do whatever you want. Sweater Girls are in the same family of jangly guitars, but add some drums and xylophone and effects on the vocals, mix it way up front and press a 7" with an argyle sleeve. Where's my anorak cardigan whatever-the-fuck?
Just checked out the label 'Happy Birthday to Me.' and guess who's on it? BunnyGrunt, Rose Melberg....I honestly had no idea....they've really cornered the market. They know what they want and you can be sure if you have any idea what I'm talking about above then you've ordered the entire catalog.
Let's knit a scarf together for our cats.
The SWEATER GIRLS “Do the Sweater” 7″
Do the Sweater / Fingers Crossed / Haven’t Got a Clue three song debut EP by this smooth California 5 piece will be quick to be a hit on turntables all across the nation. Think the Softies, the Crystals, and the Marine Girls and you are getting close to the perfection that is this single. If the songs don’t charm you the 2 color silkscreen board stock sleeve w/ insert and digital download will. Get them while you can…..you might want to order a second copy for ebay.
On a totally different front, check out this bad ass interview my friend Josh did with Dillinger Escape Plan...after reading this, I have to get into those guys one of these days, not sure how I missed them.