26 February 2008

Chairlift - 'Evident Utensil'

In truth I was a bit too young for The Slits the first time round. I've just googled 1979 and it looks like my favourite hits of the year were The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star and The Boomtown Rats' I Don't Like Mondays. Could be worse. But I've since come to love the warped, feminist reggae of Ari Up and co. I'm hearing a lot of that now in this tune by Chairlift, another in that seemingly endless wave of US bands - see also Vampire Weekend, MGMT and Yeasayer - who mix things up like kids who never heard of genres and wash up on these shores to great acclaim. There is no criticism here - all of those bands have much to commend them, and we have been so ill-served domestically these past few years by dull, pale British boys who all wanted to be The Libertines. Did I miss anybody out? Only the next five uber-cool bands I haven't heard of yet.

So yes, this Chairlift tune - and I can't confess I've investigated further beyond this immediate particular seven inch, although obviously it's on my gargantuan list of Things To Do once I've stopped wasting time putting in order sequences of words for an audience of five - puts me in mind of the Slits, and that, in my book, can be no bad thing. The less masculine we can make this thing we call music, the better - that's my view. True, with its daft lyrics about pencils it lacks the political edge of our correctly-chromosomed crusaders of yesteryear, but hey, don't we all? Anyway, one can stretch analogy too far. There are blokes involved in this too. There's one singing in the background, in a ludicrous, faux-sexy deep voice. For some reason the reference that popped into my head here was The Boys Town Gang, but then when I checked, their most famous tune doesn't have any male backing vocals in it, just some fabulous dancing - although you should not need any excuse to view this video. Instant Prozac, except this stuff works.

The b-side is the usual non-essential remix which isn't as good as the a side, this time by our new friends the aforementioned MGMT, although the backing vocals really come into their own here. The physical object, on Kanine Records, where you've previously found Holy Hail and Grizzly Bear, both revered in these quarters, is sold out at Norman Records, although Rough Trade or Pure Groove might have it, and remarkably for once, given it's something new, you can get it on crusty eMusic instead of giving Apple any more of your money. Remember, paying for music is the new getting music for free.


Anonymous said...

this song ownes me

Midnight, Aspen said...

Hey, there are worst fates. Right now another one of theirs, Bruises, via the magic of Hype Machine, has me in a headlock.

Anonymous said...

hmmm the faux-sexy deep voice reminded me of Aqua's Barbie Girl.