Saturday, June 19, 2010

I would die a million times a day if you could only look my way

A couple of pleasant, female-vocalled songs that fall somewhere in between the sounds of pop and indie-pop and come from familial woman-man duos are the features today. Warning: you may read the word "sweet" a number of times.

Domino Girl by poppostergirl

American brother-sister act Blondfire used to be Astaire of "L-L-Love" semi-fame, though they've been operating under this name for a few years now. "Domino Girl" apparently won't be on their new album, due out this year, which is a shame. Even as a demo, the song, co-written by Richard X and Hannah Robinson, has a more electronic sheen than the other music I've heard that will appear on the album, so I'd like to think it was cut more for not fitting in than for lack of quality. There's something that's the teensiest bit Saint Etienne about it, though that's not really the right comparison; I just (sadly) haven't dabbled enough in this style of music to have the best references. It's less intricately worked out than you'd expect for a Saint Etienne track.

At any rate, "Domino Girl" is a sweetly-sung, unprepossessing mid-tempo song that doesn't swoosh, stomp, or act as brazenly flirty as previous Richard X and Hannah collaborations like Rachel Stevens's "Some Girls" or Annie's "Chewing Gum" or "Songs Remind Me Of You;" it's much more subdued, but there are still sparks of life in the verses, a bit of fight and resistance, before the lovely if quieter chorus, where singer Erica resigns herself to being unable to maintain the aloofness and independence she had earlier. It's not really a jubilant celebration of falling in love, though; there's ambivalence here. The narrator, uncertain if her affections will be returned, is left waiting, hoping to be noticed--"standing in line," no less--and her metaphors tend to verge on the destructive side: she's a knocked-over domino, defeated, run over. Sure, she falls sweetly, with the song certainly not being truly gloomy, but someone's slipped at least a drop or two of something bittersweet into this honey-like pop song.

(Another song penned by the duo, Richard X, and Hannah Robinson, "What Does Love Mean?", is streaming here.)

Eva & The Heartmaker - Mr. Tokyo by RevOliver7

(With thanks to the fantastic Olivier for uploading the song!)

The excellently named Eva & the Heartmaker are a husband and wife team who fell in love after working together. Eva would go on to compete on Norwegian Idol before they released any music, but on "Mr. Tokyo," a single from their upcoming third album, she doesn't sound like what you'd expect from someone with that on their resumé (though, to engage in a tangent, at this point we've had so many Idol contestants around the world pursue so many different types of music after their television appearances that you can't really say being on a reality show means you'll pursue a certain sound).

The duo's music has, in the past, been Cardigans-esque, but "Mr. Tokyo" is much poppier, albeit still with an indie-pop nod or two. It's a bit like if you de-electro-popped an electro-pop song, if that makes any sense. The slight stylistic change of direction is the perfect move for them; their songs have never sounded more instantly appealing, their melodies more instantly charming, Eva's voice more sweetly, earnestly, restrainedly beseeching.

Blondfire's "Domino Girl" is not available for purchase anywhere, but you can buy their earlier work on iTunes here or physically here. Keep an eye out for their new album, Win The Game, later this year.

Eva & the Heartmaker's single "Mr. Tokyo" can be purchased digitally here. Some of their earlier work is available on iTunes internationally here.

In not-really-related news (Norway!), there's a clip of a demo of a new (well. she's performed it live before) song, "No Last Time," on Margaret Berger's MySpace. Maybe it's just the low quality, but it sounds kind of demo-y. She's scheduled to perform at a festival in early July, with rumors of new material making an appearance, so fingers crossed we'll hear more then.


John said...

And this is why we need Poster Girl in our lives. Really enjoyed both of these tracks, but I feel an obsession with "Domino Girl" coming on. How could this not even make the cut as an album track? The stuff that made it must be immense!

Damian said...

Initially I was a bit sceptic about Mr. Tokyo but after first chorus I've completely fallen in love with this song, something's clicking me so much in it, it's simple but straight to the heart.

Olivier said...

Hey PG ^^
Glad to see you like the song. Like Damian said, it's simple but perfect.
I hope their new album will be in the same direction.

It's a surprise to finally hear something new from the lovely Margaret! Well, it sounds very demo-ish as you said. But I like the sound of it.
Cross my fingers too for more news from her. Still listen her 2 fantastic albums.

Poster Girl said...

Thank you, John! Actually, now that you say it, I'm with you in hoping that the reason it didn't make the cut is because the other material is even better. I suspect the song is a few years old, but they could still use it--it's still strong.

It is--simple, charming, and with just a little bit of delicate tugging at the heart strings. I'm glad to hear you like it, Damian.

Olivier, I should comment more, but instead I just end up reading and seeking out the songs :) I hope the album is in the same direction, too. I'm incredibly eager for new music from Margaret, so I'm glad she shared even just a bit with us. I hope she'll be able to sort everything out and release her music soon.