September’s such a tough month. Things are new, so you’re ignoring that you’re beginning (again) all the shitty school stuff you hate. It’s still warm, so you can sort of convince yourself the crushing depression of cold, bleak fall days is still a way off — even though it’s closer to being here than it isn’t. There’s something about endings mixed with beginnings that sort of fucks with my head.
Today was most likely my last first day of school ever. And, frankly, I don’t give a shit. Here are some tunes I’ve been digging lately, some of which evoke the weird-ass transitional period we’re in:
1. The Firekites – Same Suburb, Different Park
Acoustic pop need not be boring. This is a late-night, late summer jam; a mix of Broken Social Scene, Sam Prekop and the American Analog Set; a stunning, finger-snapping, sort of freak-folkish but totally headphone pop diddy that probably could be as comfortable in a Zach Braff movie as on a collection of Yo La Tengo b-sides (okay, maybe that’s a stretch.) The harmonies: sublime. The unforeseen bassline rise that drops out of nowhere but hits as if you saw it coming a mile away (yes, it’s that perfect): nice. Dammit if I can’t hear mosquitos chirping away in the background as the last embers of the Labor Day barbecue dim and everyone accepts the fact that, yes, tomorrow we’ll get up and summer will be over, and well, fuck everything.
A lot of blogs describe the Broken West using some or all of these terms: coastal, California, golden-pop. I’m sure all these terms apply, if only to describe the melancholy yet sugary-sweet pop this foursome creates. In truth, it’s so good I had to pick two songs from their upcoming release Heaven or Nowhere: “Auctioneer” opens with piano-driven verses, hand-claps and a jazzy bass line (sophisticated pop, yes) and quickly descends into a crowdpleasing, driving chorus lamenting a mistreating lover. Maybe Beulah? Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin? Take your pick. “Perfect Games” is straightforward pop, but excellent straightforward pop: it’s like Snow Patrol, but so so so much better.