Thursday, January 18, 2007

Renegade shopper

Hermit crab mosaic
Image: Joe Moorman

Thanks to a long, strenuous web crawl session last weekend, including hours logged on Myspace (the things I do for you), I have an accordion file folder full of songs in need of distribution to willing ears. So this is probably the beginning of a series of single-track posts. Please don't get used to such frequent missives.

Feel Good Factor - The Hermit Crabs

When asked, The Hermit Crabs, a sunny pop group from Glasgow, was kind enough to send me two songs. I had a hard time choosing which one to post. But ultimately, while I think you should stream their fiddlin', cowbellin' Scotland-by-way-of-San-Antone "Bad Timing" (and then buy their EP), "Feel Good Factor" seems to best breathe the essence of the band. After all, it offers a warm tribute to their hometown's Sauchiehall Street, and a cloudless view of singer Melanie Whittle's crystalline voice. You might be reminded of Camera Obscura's Tracyeanne Campbell. Because I remember the early 90s, I think of Velocity Girl's Sarah Shannon. Whatever the point of comparison, it's a quality -- a certain pitch, timbre and inflection -- sometimes found in women fronting retro-ish indie-pop bands. And one that I've always privately thought of as a thrift shop voice: simple as a geometric-print A-line dress, bright and uncomplicated as Fiestaware, grin-inducing as a rare first edition (dustjacket pristine, naturally) discovered in a box of junk. Charmingly old-fashioned, of course. Whittle conveniently literalizes my invented thrift shop idiom when she sings, Gonna be a renegade shopper /Gonna get my clothes from the charity bin and the band unclutters her path with a clip of drum, jaunt of bass, scrape of violin. Cha cha cha, aye aye aye.

The Hermit Crab's website.

4 Comments:

Blogger jon manyjars said...

Have you heard the song "Thrift Shop" that Dan Zanes sings on one of his records for children? It is a cute duet with Sandra Bernhard! Thanks for this song; I am a sucker for female singers with Scottish accents (esp. Fay Fife and Eddi Reader).

11:11 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

And Jon! I haven't heard the Dan Zanes song. Sandra Bernhard??? She sort of scares me.

3:15 PM  
Blogger jon manyjars said...

She is indeed scary. And not especially tuneful as a singer. But it's a good song.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Neil said...

Thanks for this, Amy. It's a song that makes me very happy. I couldn't get into the Camera Obscura thing, but this....

Best wishes from Texas!

1:48 PM  

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