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.


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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