Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tiny Jubilees: Slop-Pop

Maybe I'm spending too much time inside and am consequently lacking the essential vitamin D. Maybe I'm spending too much time thinking about aimlessly fantastic road trips. Maybe it's all the Roald Dahl books I've been reading lately.

Whatever it is, I'm in the mood for breezy summer songs with slightly out of tune guitars, hand claps, silly lyrics and the perfect combination of childish bashfulness/total disregard.

So here are four artists who are sloppy, poppy, and fall under the polka-dotted parasol that I've [lovingly] dubbed... Slop-Pop.

[Left click on mp3 links]


Ryan Schmale is an eighteen-year-old crafter of lo-fi gems that are a foot-tappers dream. His more up-tempo songs jump!crackle!spark while the slower acoustic numbers breathe warm and sway around on tippy-toes. Overall: homegrown and intoxicating.

mp3's: I Crossed Out the Options, Going Out When it's Warm at Night and Top Shelf


According to Wikipedia, Boris Yeltsin "was the first President of the Russian Federation from 1991 - 99 [...] Yeltsin never recovered his popularity after a series of economic and political crises in Russia in the 1990s. The Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems."

And you know what? SSLYBY seem like just the kind of fellows who would forgive ol' Yeltsy for his screw-ups. Maybe it's the way they craft rather intelligently structured pop songs that still manage to sound impromptu-Saturday-night-jam-on-the-back-porch genuine. It's this polite, humble, ramblin' sort of sound that leads me to believe they wouldn't think twice about slapping a former president on the back, forgiving him for crumbling an economy [whatever it was he did], and inviting him over for sandwiches and lemonade.

And if you weren't already charmed enough, they sound like a blissful combo of Beulah and Rogue Wave. Pretty grand.

mp3's: Tin Floor 51, Anne Elephant and Gwyneth


He has some very long song titles. He has lyrics like "Let's have some drum rolls for drunkenness." He's prone to using little flutes and whistles. His hands can't seem to stay apart--he's just gotta clap. His voice reminds me of lead singer of David & the Citizens and also of Dent May's voice. His songs are loopy and carefree, like a montage of all your favourite Julys.

mp3's: Residents in Orange County Live in a Bland Republican Paradise and Don't Know What it Really Means to Jam Econo..., Lynette I Love You and I'm Pretty Sure This Is Someone Else's Song But I Couldn't Figure Out Whose So I'm Keeping It!


What a jolly little French man!

It sounds like François was raised by a forest: he grew up as a free spirit meadow runner, a climber of mountains and a jump off-er of cliffs. One day he happened upon a guitar in a threadbare case and he picked it up. He slapped its body and poked at the strings and found that a strangled, garbled voice was singing out from his throat that was so unused to speaking at all.

He decided to go.

So he took his guitar and ran all the way to France, galloping across countrysides and whizzing through tiny villages where he would knock on the doors of strangers and play through the untamed joys he had written. His lyrics were almost unintelligible, broken up with whoops and high notes so far out of his vocal range he could scarcely squeak them out. But he stamped his feet on the front step and pawed at the guitar until he felt the song was over. And then he would smile at the stun'd, amaze'd new friend. Then he would take a bow.

And then he would move on.

mp3's: Not the One, Where O Where A** and Island

Thanks for stopping by,

** I know that the file name for this song says it's called "Young Sand", but I assure you that I checked and the title is Where O Where A.

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