Little girl, Andrea Zuill
No One #2 - Anamude
I never jumped rope to songs like this. Jump rope rhymes were about boys and babies and k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Not this catalogue of calamity--earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes--and hurt:
Keeping pain in delay
trying to stay wide awake
throwing rocks at the sun
keeping on running from here to no one.
And the playground was never this lonely, or the snap of rope on asphalt so haunted, or the double dutch beat so jagged and ominous. As much a participant as detached observer, Ana Hortillosa chants in near-affectless sing-song, yet she's the only warm body on this patch. The subtle emotional texture her voice lends to what might otherwise be the soundtrack to a cheap horror flick makes this track all the more chillingly effective.
From Pentimento, which you can buy from Keep Recordings and eMusic. Visit Anamude's Myspace.
Bike - May or May Not
What is it about indie pop bands and bikes? Do we have Syd Barrett ("Bike") and The Archies ("Bicycles, Rollerskates and You") to thank for this seemingly never-ending flashback of pre-adolescent play, this errant emblem of sublimated sex and avoided adult responsibility. (Er, Pee Wee Herman.) Cheap, energy-efficient transportation, my ass. And what of this propensity of indie pop bands to dress their songs with breezy south-of-the-border horn sections ... Oh. Wait. That is different. Is that a clarinet?! And bells! And wait til you get to the end of the instrumental interlude and whoosh the vocal reentry leaps at your chest like a big, sloppy dog. If you were looking for a song to make the death of summer seem bearable, this could be it. Welcome, welcome autumn.
May or May Not's EP Bike hits the streets on September 12. It's available through Two Thumbs Down Records. If you're in the Chicago metro area, the Hideout's the place to be on the 16th for the record release party. The band's MySpace is here.