It’s cold out in Chicago, so summer music is slowly leaving the iPod rotation. The sun-filled power pop of King Tuff and Suckers that screamed with good feelings in the heat are slowly being put on the back burner. Meanwhile, more moody, ambient or folky music makes itself at home for the winter. However, there are a spare few records that can crossover the seasons. Holiday Shores‘ Columbus’d The Whim is an excellent example of a record that can associate itself with a few different seasons.
Columbus’d The Whim is a pop gem, for sure. It’s got a relaxed groove that’s perfect for fall days (“Phones Don’t Fued”). It’s got the infectiously upbeat xylophones and keys for the summer and burgeoning spring (“Days Drag”). But all of the vocals sound like they’re dripping through the mics, a haunting sound to bring out an intriguing winter. While many songs or albums create distinct associations, this one is different. It’s an album for all seasons (ha).
Holiday Shores – “Phones Don’t Fued” (from Columbus’d The Whim)
1) Bill Callahan – “Jim Cain” (from Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle) – “One of the best songs of the year due to lilting strings that remind you of the trees on some canopy road in a town that you’ve accidentally passed through. The lyrics are forcefully grounded to the rough-worn life of it’s title character. Simplicity, confidence, and pristine melody converge here.”
2) Arthur Russell – “The Letter” (from Love Is Overtaking Me) – “Charactistically hard to classify. Letter pretty seamlessly combines a drum machine with a flipped down beat to a personal acoustic ballad. The fat synths and minimal, but direct, lyrics allow for multiple styles to recombine and evolve more than one would think possible for a three minute pop song.”
3) Del Shannon – “Runaway” (from Runaway With Del Shannon) – “You’ve heard this on the radio a million times. We rediscovered this on an iPod under the heading ”80s and more.’ Much more in fact, due to the unbelievable and alien sounding organ solo that sounds more fitting for a circus song from fucking Venus than a cheesy pop song from the ’50s. It sounds like it was handed directly from a demented organist living on the bottom of the ocean floor in a plastic bio dome to Shannon’s player. Also, the lyrics neatly sum up adolescent relationships gone awry.”
4) Kate Bush – “Army Dreamers” (from Never For Ever) – “This is one of Kate Bush’s more reserved songs, but only musically. It’s a bit of a meditation on young men getting chewed up in the war machine. Essentially, another lovely ballad from the mother of insane pop songs.”
5) Dirty Projectors – “Emblem of the World” (from Temecula Sunrise EP) – “Recently released on the Temecula Sunrise EP, we’ve been pretty anxiously awaiting the studio version. Our bassist, PJ, video taped on early incarnation of this track months before Bitte Orca was released. It certainly had us extremely eager for the record. We were a little disappointed in the alterations that had been made (where did that bass line go???) but overall it’s just as solid as it was years ago.”