Monday, May 19, 2008

good tip

my myspace friends minisnap live in new zealand. they are a really really good band and you should finish reading this (or, well, you don't have to finish, but do as i say anyway, ok?) and then go out and buy their music and t-shirts and anything else. did you know they are 3/4 of indie/kiwi-pop legends the bats? i bet you didn't. do you know the bats? if not, i may not be able to help you, but i'll try. check them out first, especially 'fear of god', 1991, flying nun records. the first track, 'bogey man' is like everything you love by the smiths and the clean and the chills and rem and anyone else you thought was (emo-)cool back in the early nineties. 
if you know that, you know that bob scott is the bats honcho, but then you have paul kean (bassist from toy love) and mal grant backing up kaye woodward (mrs paul) singing her amazing songs in minisnap. they have two great little self-produced eps (march hare features a cover by the clean/the mad scene's hamish kilgour) and a full length. they are everything that is good about jangly indie-pop.
really. fucking. gorgeous.
so they sent out this little bulletin on mysoace that said "check out this video" and i got really really excited, because i really liked their video for 'new broom' and i was like, 'hey, awesome! new minisnap video.' it took me about three seconds to realize this was not the case, but i watched the video anyway, and it was this band called the dø. they are ostensibly a two-piece, although they obviously employ at least a drummer for shows. this song in th video was called 'on my shoulders', and it started with this super simple drifting little guitar sequence, with some whining synths in the background. suddenly this drum beat kicks in and a high, plaintive voice starts, in a voice stained with finnish vodka and sex, wailing "why..."
the voice is that of one olivia bouyssou merilahti, of french-finnish descent, and whose voice hits an anxiety-pitch of both little-girl-vulnerability and fervent, desperate, feral strength.
the video does nothing to allay this impression as merilahti, darkened eyelashes masking her squinted eyes, moves like a trance-afflicted doll through an urban-blight landscape with her partner dan levy. they duo stare disaffected at low-flying aeroplanes from the bed of a pickup (on backwards-run film) and the wind toussles merilahti's black hair and teases the slight wisps of blonde highlights at her temples. little tricks in the video, such as the pair moving forward (towards the camera) inside the stowage bay of a lorry, as the lorry moves forward (in the opposite direction) and creating the impression that they are moving in-place, add to the surreal immediacy of the song.
the dø make music in the same vein as indie-groove acts like leslie feist, but they have an endearing little anarchic twist as well. they remind me a little of the blow as well.
merilahti's feral-sensual scream coupled with  levy's beats set up a nice juxtaposition, all-in-all, and i intend to keep an ear on this pair.
thanks for the tip, k + p.

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