Sunday, June 12, 2011
Summer Monday Music: What will the angels say
The Katydids were an early-90's band with a mid-60's sound led by lead singer Susie Hug and spouse Adam Seymour (who later played with The Pretenders). They only had two albums, the first of which is a forgotten little classic. Produced by Nick Lowe, which automatically guarantees a striking pop sound, the self-titled album has 11 songs on it, and each one has that indefinable but instantly recognizable summer sound to it: lightness, clarity, sunshine-call it what you will. It's in all three of the songs below.
The first one is my favorite. Bouncy, danceable, happy, sly--it's like an updated cha cha (check out the one-two cha-cha-cha drumbeats throughout). You wonder if that was the group's idea or whether it was Nick Lowe's. Either way, it's a trans-generational crossbreed that's out to prove that your parents doing the cha-cha is exactly like you doing the pogo.
Lights Out (Read My Lips)
For a little balance, here's the sadness in the middle of the happy sandwich--a lament for all the missing things we stick with because we think we'll actually find the missing piece. Ignoring the very real possibility that the piece was never there to begin with. (And speaking of missing pieces, listen for the brief but telling guitar echo to "It's Only Love (and that is all).")
Girl in a Jigsaw Puzzle
Finally, something that sounds like a time warp out of 1965 and not 1990. You can easily imagine it as a number-one single from a one-hit-wonder band out of Bristol, after which they went to Hollywood and made a bad beach movie based on the song title directed in faux Richard Lester style by somebody with one-tenth Lester's talent in which James Brown and the Famous Flames have a guest number that steals the film. Believe me--it's all there if you listen closely enough.