It’s been too long since I’ve posted actual new musical material. Here are a couple of songs that have come my way recently.
First up is DeVotchKa’s “Transliterator” (yes, they spell the band name that way, for no good reason – and speaking of transliteration, the band’s name is an oddly transliterated version of the Russian for “young girl” – also used with the same meaning in Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange). The melody and arrangement are somewhat reminiscent of Andrew Bird’s recent work, but the arrangement’s a bit fuller. Also something a bit unusual in these click-tracked days: I’m pretty sure the song speeds up slightly as it intensifies in the second verse. Of course, music used to do that all the time, but so many recordings now are slave to the rhythm (sorry Grace) that it actually sounds unusual by now. I also like the way both the piano/violin intro and the overlapping melody lines sort of tumble across themselves.
Speaking of retro sound, the arrangement and recording of the Billie Burke Estate’s “Everybody’s Gonna Die” is a bit of a throwback: the drums primarily in one channel, balanced by a very compressed-sounding piano in the opposite channel, and the vocal very prominent in the mix. It reminds me a bit of Badfinger, in fact, in their less power-poppy and more soulful moments.
DeVotchKa “Transliterator” (A Mad and Faithful Telling, 2008)
The Billie Burke Estate “Everybody’s Gonna Die” (Let Your Heart Break, 2007)