Thursday, July 3, 2014
Tripping the Light Fantastic on Cloudberry Records
There are those bands that can effortlessly come up with insanely catchy indie pop. It's a real gift, and the most rewarding for me still as a jaded, cynical listener to go back to The Softies, The Lilys, Bunnygrunt or hell Death Cab's Something About Airplanes, which I will still defend as some of the greatest late '90s indie pop. I'd debatably throw Sebadoh and all Lou's side projects from that period in there as well but not all of that stuff is pop gold. This single from Tripping the Light Fantastic is going to find itself next to all of that solid indie rock that I will turn to when nothing else is going to get me through.
That jangle guitar comes on strong on A-Side's "Heavy Heart" with the experimental indie production of those classic twee sounds I'm a sucker for. From the C86 tape all the way to Belle and Sebastian. It's reminding me of all the super crafted pop from musicians who just want to create the most optimistic tunes with all the seriousness in the world. It also reminds me that that Sundays record and The Unicorns is impossibly expensive. It's why those teen movies can still get to me like Adventureland, relationships are complicated and maybe it's just that first idea of really wanting to be with someone that's hard to shake. Dear diary this poppy stuff takes me right to that place, I can't even take apart the music, but I'm hearing some of those Softies melodies if they expanded their sound with bass lines and alternate backup harmonies. Maybe Dog Day comes close to this explosion of pop…or Bearsuit. There's just an unexpected enthusiasm for the act of creating that really comes across. It's inspiring but a little out of reach, the lyrical content here is about being a little depressed and carrying that weight around of the past but I'm sorry guys all I can hear is naive pop joy.
On B-Side's "The Postcard" these guys are making me realize too that there's been an incredible void where Death Cab used to be - Something About Airplanes will not be ruined no matter what they've done since. Tripping the Light doesn't compose in that experimental shoegaze but a similar concise minimal sound where every note really counts, the effects are carefully deliberated on and used sparingly in a bursting at the seams way it's no wonder these last measures want to continue on forever. I don't get a hint of irony from these guys, it's also making me rethink 'artisinal' or 'small batch' catch phrases. I can't give a lot of shit to local businesses making really good products. Are these guys doing something wrong because they don't like in some dripping blood death metal world? Anyone shitting on this is a heartless ghoul robot. For the rest of us there's this fantastic single from Tripping the Light Fantastic.
Get this from Cloudberry Records in Astoria (!)