Kids, Eh #3

“Can we listen to some bands, with girl singers this time please?” says my daughter, as I am about to fire up Alexa for round three of Kids, Eh.  A series, in case, you have forgotten, where my nine year old daughter reviews three songs randomly selected from a playlist that I have lovingly prepared.  Her reviews, are short, acidic and have very little praise attached to them.  Her words are nearly as sharp as her pencil and all songs are scored out of ten.

I nod my head and promise that this time – the songs will only feature female voices.  I rearrange the playlist and press play and given her current hatred of anything “too shouty and wah wah wah” I hope that Huggy Bear don’t come on.

Turns out we are luck because track one just happens to be one of the greatest records ever recorded and I grin and tell her that she will love this.  I tell her that Courtenay Barnett was the first rock star she saw live.  She actually demanded to be let out of her pushchair so she could dance to her, whilst we watched her on the Main Stage at Glastonbury 2015.  She was two and a half at the time. 

“Toddlers, will dance to anything, daddy” she tells me, with a frown. Uh-oh.

Avant Gardener – Courtenay Barnett (2013, Mom and Pop Records)

“You know that sound a cat makes when it’s really hungry, and wants you to feed it” she says, just as Courtenay deadpans about thinking a nurse is clever for stopping people from dying, literally the best bit of the whole song.

I nod, cautiously. 

“Well, that’s what she sings like” and then proceeds to a do a passable impression of a hungry cat saying the word “Guitar”.  “I like the drums though, I don’t understand some of the lyrics, why is she getting in an ambulance?”  She writes 3 on her pad and I look at her and remind myself to change the name of this series to “Murder Your Darlings”.

Next up, a band that the NME described as being ‘frottage inducingly intense’.  I don’t tell my daughter that obviously, I’m not sure I can explain to a nine year old what ‘frottage’ is.  I could tell her to ‘ask her mother’ I suppose… I just tell her that it’s a band called Savages and that they are ‘a bit shouty’.  I’m pretty sure that she tutted.  I’m going to stop her going to that trampoline club, the attitude, honestly.

Husbands – Savages (2012, Matador Records)

About twenty seconds into this my daughter covers her ears, she doesn’t like this, she hates it in fact.  I mean it’s not really music for nine year olds, a women shouting “husbands” over and over again as a musical mental breakdown takes place around her, its not exactly Andy and the Odd Socks is it.

“Its awful” she said, “she sounds really angry” I tell her that she is making a statement about not liking men or a male orientated world (I’m massively simplifying feminism to a nine year old, give me a break).  “Well she should do it without shouting because more people would listen” and all around me I hear people ripping up their Andrea Dworkin books.  Unsurprisingly she marks it as a ZERO (she told me to put it in capitals)

Lastly, possibly something that I am positive that she will like.  It’s Best Coast, it’s impossible to not like Best Coast, with their summery vibes and songs about California and their albums covers that feature cats – which gives me an idea.

“This is by a band called Best Coast and one of their albums features a cat on the cover”, I tell her.

“I like them better than the others already” she says.

I Don’t Know How – Best Coast (2013, Jewel City Records)

She listens to this all the way through at the very least and then when it finishes, she holds up her pad and the number six is written on it.  “I like the guitars in this one and I really like her voice, and I really like the way its kind of two songs in one”.  It sort of is, you get the sweet Bethany Cosentino and guitar bit at the start for about two minutes and then the rest of the band join it to pump it up a bit.  An hour later I find my daughter sitting in her room listening to Best Coast’s debut album ‘Crazy For You’ – you know the one with the cat on the cover.  All of which makes Best Coast this weeks deserved winners.

Randomly Shuffled Songs #5

Last Year – Best Coast (2012, Mexican Summer Records, Taken from ‘The Only Place’)

Best Coast are a two piece from Los Angeles comprising of Bethany Consentino (vocals, guitars) and Bob Bruno (everything else). When their first album emerged in 2010 their music was kind of lo-fi, with vocals hidden behind fuzzy guitars and mountains of reverb. The press loved it and the band were quickly hailed as musical geniuses.

‘Last Year’ is taken from the second album, the much less lo-fi ‘The Only Place’ an album which is all summery and pretty much an advert for the state of California (you see that bear up top its cuddling a map of California). It is heavily inspired by 60s country records and Fleetwood Mac, which I agree, makes it sound ghastly.

Thankfully, whilst it was influenced by Fleetwood Mac and Loretta Lynn, it sounds nothing like either of them. Its very jangly, very upbeat and by dropping the reverb and upping the vocals it made the vocals of Consentino come into their own.

The Only Place – Best Coast (2012, Mexican Summer Records, taken from ‘The Only Place’)

Tomorrow we will have something slightly different.