Jake Elijah – Shelly Wants Me Home
In 1993 Mark Sandman sang, or rather murmured, about Candy wanting him down in Candyland and it sounded like the most beautiful, haunting place to which one could ever travel. In early 2021 Jake Elijah’s murmurs are about Shelly who wants him home and it sounds just as heartbreaking. It’s a tune of unavoidable destruction set to a beat that’s barely there.
If this is a romantic song, it’s one about a doomed love affair judging by the singing that makes Elijah seem like an old poet trying to recall his home phone number while intoxicated in a Tijuana hotel room.
There’s an undercurrent of heartache to the song that floats just above the surface, yet it’s unmissable. Beyond the great, dreamy production (courtesy of Foxygen’s Kevin Basko) and the gently overflowing instrumentation, there’s a really special song.
The Small Calamities – Tabs (I Hope You Get The Plague)
Some art, I am told, functions in such a way that it requires every bit of intellectual effort in order to be fully appreciated. Books are written about it. And, for the most part, it remains boring, undiscovered by the masses, and debated only among those with much too much time on their hands.
The other kind of art is immediate and easy to understand, like a vulgar cuss word. That’s more like The Small Calamities’ Tabs (I Hope You Get The Plague), but friendlier than I might have described it.
It is a song with a message, as songwriters like to occasionally boast of theirs. The message in question is that the writer wishes some form of suffering, preferably the recent virus, to befall on a former love interest that has wronged them and that they hate. In its sentiment, it is a song as honest as Imagine or Baby got back.
Musically this is an emo-folk number indie-rock backing. Every line is memorable and delivered in an honest, confessional manner by someone done being polite. It’s not even a desperate call for attention. It comes from a place of real anger, and for that, we love it.