There were many things to love about Big Heart, the debut L.P. from Brooklyn twee-pop band Ski Lodge, but the over-eager, C-86 guitars were way up there on the list. Thus, it’s somewhat jarring to find that on their new single, “Crush Your Heart,” the guitar takes a backseat to bright, guileless synths that would sound right at home on a mid-80’s chart-topper from the likes of A-ha or OMD. Assertive, analog bass drives the track forward at the pixie stick-fueled pace of the band’s previous work, but the drums are bigger and damper, and when the guitar does come out from under the synthesizers, it assumes the cold distance of early New Order or, later in the song, the lizardy seductiveness of Duran Duran.
Bandleader Andrew Marr’s apparent love for the second half of the 1980s is still very much on display, as is his Smiths-ian misanthropy, delivered in a Morrissey-meets-Dan-Bejar croon with lines like “My God, you’re a hateful one; Does it hurt, or do you love being alone?” The lyrics, directed toward some friend or acquaintance for whom Marr seemingly feels little but disdain, simultaneously mock and legitimize a pathetic need for romantic partnership rooted in a powerful fear of dying alone. In the distance between the tune’s poppy, danceable packaging and its existentially unsettling contents, there lies a satisfyingly weighty subtext: sure we’re all fundamentally alone, scared, and miserable, but that can’t stop us from having some fun.
words by Joe Thurston
What do you get when you perfectly blend soul, funk with an indie sensibility in one song? Ok, I’ll wait, have you figured it out yet? It is none other than the very diverse Rationale who has done it again with his latest tune “Something For Nothing”. Hailing from London by way of Harare, Zimbabwe the very talented Rationale is causing quite the stir with his debut EP last year, and also catching the eye of Radio 1. “Something for Nothing” is one of those songs that can get you dancing and reminiscing at the same time. A clever combination, that is hard to do well. If you haven’t listened to the track you should get on it soon, it’s sure to leave you wanting more.
words by Kendra Marshall