Suicide Squeeze Records
The Alchemy Of American Pop in 10 Songs.
Every now and again I likes a bit of music from left of centre; be that Tom Waits, Nouvelle Vague or more recently Mishka Shubaly and my new Favourite Offbeat Pop Combo is SadGirl, a trio from LA who sound like they’ve spent their whole lives only ever listening to the Phil Spector Box-Set and the Best Of Jan & Dean.
Just like those legendary Phil Spector recordings; or if you are as ‘cool’ as me ….. the Joe Meek ones in the UK, opening track The Ocean sounds like it’s recorded live in a tiny studio with a mad man at the controls; with singer Misha Landes voice echoing across the airwaves while something like Farfisa Organ and a miniature drum kit create a spooky backing sound.
This is immediatly followed by a love song of sorts; and if I’m not mistaken it’s more of a Lust Song, as Misha Landes cups the microphone as of every single breath he takes is as important as the words he sings ….. and they possibly are, too.
If I ever see photos of SadGirl I’m going to be devastated if they don’t have ‘pudding-bowl’ haircuts, Clubmasters and are sporting polo neck sweaters under their collarless jackets (thing Paul Revere and/or Sir Douglas Quintet) such are the images Little Queenie, Avalon and the hip surf instrumental Hazelnut Coffee conjure up in my addled brain.
It’ll be all too easy for many reviewers to dismiss this album as some kind of Retro-Hipster take on Americana; but if you/they take the time and trouble to digest Mulholland and perhaps Miss Me you will unearth some clever songwriting and very creative song construction too.
Selecting a Favourite Song is an either/or between the acoustic Water which closes the album and the gloriously bittersweet Breakfast For 2; with the latter taking the accolade as it perfectly sums up why I’ve fallen in love with the whole album.
Perhaps time will show SadGirl are too clever for their own good; but until then I can’t recommend this fabulous pastiche highly enough.