Monday, July 18, 2011
Little Gold on Sophomore Lounge Records
This single from Little Gold arrived from Sophomore Lounge Records. A lot in common with an earlier single on Heartbreak Beat Records, but the fully layered indie country sound is bigger, the melodies harmonically crafted, and the low distortion is always on the vocal. Mostly sounding like they're having fun without breaking bottles.
There's a color insert for the children of a crazy sesame street birthday scene with monkey stickers and adult, very out of place captions, sort of in the style of this party single, don't get too bent out of shape. A trifecta of folk '70s icons greets you over the handwritten lyrics on the reverse.
The A-Side, "Mike Swan" is just the name of a dude that hit Christian Deroeck, founder of Woods and Meneguar, who was innocently riding his bike one day. But of course Christian turned that catastrophe at the corner of Willoughby into gold with this track. The actual swans on the sleeve were extra confusing. I know swans can be insanely aggressive and I think I thought maybe one of the birds happened to chase Christian on a park path off his bike? It's not unbelievable.
But Little Gold is able to cleverly craft this song to be fun and catchy while essentially being a story song about a tiny inconsequential incident, and of course those moments can say a lot more about life. I can relate to this more than most songs and not just because it's about riding a bike in Brooklyn (wear a helmet) but because it's that everyday situation and the fact that they both 'allegedly' were drunk and also high diffused the situation into a simple accident. I'm constantly telling myself to calm down and not be so insanely defensive when an inevitable pedestrian or car runs into he bike lane....take it easy. I mean they both could have been watching out for each other a little better. But thankfully it ended alright, no hospitals no lawsuits, everybody go home, a little scrape, no big deal. It has a slight bar jam country feel, a bent electric guitar with layered wavering vocals. Great harmonies especially when singing the title of the track. "Mike Swan" is the most beautiful part of the whole thing, a nice tribute to the driver and Christians songwriting. There's a Beirut gypsy horn melody towards the end bringing this side safely home.
I hope Mike gets to hear this.
The B-Side, "Oh, Dad" is a cover of a James Toth (Of Wooden Wand) song which they grunge up a bit here. At first it sounds like quotes or advice from the Dad, but it's actually the son after the Dad. He's past that age of defiance when you criticize everything your parents do. Dad's an equal, he's a person, and the protagonist isn't disappointed here so much as just sad that he sees the way his Dad gets treated and is worried he's letting himself get walked on a little. It's a nice sentiment, the "In Defense of Dad" song, sounding very dirty garage'd out. A little distortion on the vocal, definitely with attitude. The sleeve photo couldn't be more perfect on this side of a '70s photo of a Dad in the backyard, next to the chainlink fence reluctantly waving to the camera. bog collar polyester brown jacket. Beard and sunglasses. Sort of happy times.
Dad's change and sometimes you start to question if his life choices make sense...Oh, Dad. Not unlike the teenage "Oh. Dad" which is always disappointed. It all comes back around.
Check out these tracks from Little Gold and get this one from Sophmore Lounge Records.