Dash Hammerstein – Molly Maguire
You can’t really mount any sort of convincing argument against a song that sounds as if it was written a century ago, and performed with the gusto befitting of such a composition. Molly Maguire may assure your ears with a fair degree of ease to be the quirky soundtrack to a movie from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Still, it is in fact the semi-ironic, well-designed composition by indie-pop star Dash Hammerstein.
This kind of vaudeville act would have been a hard sell a few decades ago. You can certainly imagine Randy Newman or Billy Joel writing something like this in a moment of carefree relief. However, the curse and blessing of modern pop music is that it has, at times, contained musical elements across times and cultures. At worst, this may sound like a bit of innocent fun, but few would deny it an honest chance.
In fact, the writing fits the profile of a country ballad given a dancehall shine. The lyrics and vocal lines fit in perfectly giving it the feel of a lost classic. As for the silly, convivial feel of the track, it’s nothing less than what Paul McCartney might have peddled to the Beatles when throwing ideas from every direction for their self-titled album. If it’s good enough for Sir Paul…
Fashion Bird Danger Danger – Doo Doh Psychedelic
Beyond the colourful artwork and all the assurance that psychedelics provide when getting heavily involved, there’s a trio of musicians who all must have sincerely wanted to be DJs during the great Acid House era. Doo Doh Psychedelic (which should not be confused with psychedelic doo doo, our brief, but encapsulating review of the new Great van Fleet effort), begins with the danceable grooves, samples of girl singers, and someone whispering through a vocoder. If you were dancing to this in a field in England in the 90s, you would have surely driven yourself into cardiac arrest by this nugget.
Once the vocals kick in, you start to realize what Fashion Bird Danger Danger is really after. Well, besides drugs, of course. The group harkens back to the moment where the Brit-pop behemoths, Oasis and Blur, had decided to take their “Kinks play Shea stadium” routine into a bright, neon-coloured, brave new world. Naturally, they stopped once the rehab bills started piling up.
Fashion Bird Danger Danger, American and modern as they are, should be wiser than to go down this route. The band has created a danceable, indietronica number that’s destined to stay flickering in your mind a while after you’ve heard it.