Possibly the most precious indie pop to come across my plate this year, Singer is an eight-track almost LP full of themed songs with obvious names. How the trio chooses to present each subject varies from song to song, but for the most part they manage a combination of lyric content and instrumentation. Check out “Space Song” which details an interplanetary love affair set against cold tones, electronics, reverb and a pleasant but questionable harpsichord. “Western Song” follows suit burrowing into Ennio Morricone for pre-schoolers territory with a shuffling beat, accordion, barroom piano and a Byrds-ian lead guitar.
Of course, in the case of “Prison Song,” “Zombie Song” and “Pirate Song” there’s a shift toward the absurdist love in the lyrics leaving traditional keys-drums-guitar instrumentation to knit together such disparate subjects like seadogs, the undead and incarceration. The biggest musical in-joke on the disc is “Sweden Song.” With a melodica front and center and a vocal melody straight from the Swedish pop fakebook, The Besties have crafted a reply to the surely-forgotten Starlet song “Love-Story of the Year.”
Knee-deep in irony, but still managing sincerity despite all of its humor, The Besties mission statement is best summed up with “Theme Song”: “No titles/ It’s too much trouble.” These folks want to make playful music the most effortless way possible and from how catchy Singer turned out to be, it looks like they’ve succeeded.
Skipping Stones Records: www.skippingstonesrecords.com