Random Music Thoughts

Been enjoying a relatively new band called The Mummers, especially the songs “March of the Dawn” and “Lorca and the Orange Tree,” though it’s a guilty pleasure since they’re pretty much just pushing my musical buttons over and over. The lead singer, Raissa Khan-Panni, sounds maybe a bit too Björk-y on some tracks, but she has a great voice nonetheless and the arrangements are huge and rich and irresistible (to me, at least). Good speakers recommended for those wonderful bass notes.

Maybe I’m imagining things, but I think there’s something going on inside of a bunch of the songs I’ve been listening to lately with female lead vocalists. The arrangements behind them are getting increasingly robust and deep, while the voices up front are becoming more elfin and/or breathy, and maybe because of the syncopation, there’s less a sense of back-up than of counterpoint, which sets up a pretty dramatic masculine/feminine interplay (or Butch/Femme if you prefer) that’s practically NSFW. The Bird and the Bee‘s incredible song “Man” is the purest example I’ve found, but I hear traces of it in The Ting Tings, JemBat for Lashes (“Horse and I”), Bitter:Sweet (“The Mating Game”), and Anya Marina (“Miss Halfway”).

I remember feeling like I was hearing something new the first time I heard The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” Maybe it was this.

Thanks to kbeilz for recommending The Mummers after hearing I was enjoying Jesca Hoop‘s “Seed of Wonder.” Feel free to recommend some of your favorites, similar or not.

I promise, back to comics on Monday. I just really, really love music.

Discussion (14)¬

  1. You should check out Imogen Heap:
    …. hope you enjoy it :o)

    • Scott says:

      Been meaning to!

      I like “Hide and Seek” and some of the Frou Frou stuff. I should definitely listen to more.

  2. Austin Kleon says:

    Hey Scott,

    For feminine vocals with muscular backing tracks, you should check out the new St. Vincent, ACTOR. It’s really great.


    – Austin

  3. Austin Kleon says:

    Oh, one more thing: St. Vincent actually started this album by DRAWING the music in GarageBand and going from there!


    • Scott says:

      Oh, I’m sold.

      St. Vincent is another act I’ve been hearing a lot about, but haven’t really checked out. Rectifying mistake now.

  4. You are allowed to talk about more than comics, you know. 🙂

    I followed the Mummers link to look for music samples and after clicking around, stumbled on one of the most disturbing music videos I’ve seen. One for a song called Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear. So… Thanks?

  5. cat garza says:

    i love grizzly bear!

    scott, have you heard of midlake? not exactly what you were talking about, but a band i’ve really liked for a while.

  6. Lauren says:

    Yeah, what happened to you playing me new stuff on Friday? You’re not in town next week, are you?

  7. Kasey says:

    Not sure if the exactly fit with your feminine masculine interplay but the newest female vocalist band that I’ve found I would definitely recommend to anyone with those kinds of tastes.

    Company of Thieves http://www.companyofthieves.net/#/band
    I think this impromptu session over a canyon is particularly impressive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8PDoHU5mN0&feature=channel

  8. Have you sampled She & Him’s Volume One? It’s worth a look, and it’s not a million miles away from some of the things you’ve been mentioning here. Maybe a little dreamier.

  9. Maximillian says:

    Coincidentally,I have actually been thinking lately about how music might best be represented in comics form. Ever since I read your books, I started jokingly nagging my friends by trying to prove to them that comics are a supreme artform. Well, at one point I was wondering how music can be represented into comics and for the last months Ive been making an imaginary music comic whenever Ive nothing better to do. Based on music by Tom Waits.