Monthly Archives: April 2008

“So Haunted” is one of my singles of the year — plaintive, insistent — and it surrenders pleasure after pleasure in ways that its host album In Ghost Colours can’t. As practioners of a post-New Order, quasi-DFA dance aesthetic just catholic enough to allow an Alan Moulder glaze on the vocals and guitar fuzz, Cut Copy have enough craft to work out their one or two ideas with imagination, but the glaze also covers too many aesthetic shortcomings; the album isn’t just soft on the feet, it’s soft in the head. Weeks after mishearing “So Haunted”‘s chorus “Feel so haunted that I misunderstood tonight” as “Feel so horny that I misunderstood tonight…,” I hold it against the band instead of my ears — the misheard lyric sounds like it’s articulating something real, something we’ve all experienced; when the sequencers start to bleep and phased harmonies straight out of My Bloody Valentine’s “To Here Knows When” blow air trails into the microphones, it’s the closest thing to sublimity I’ve heard this year. If Cut Copy remind me of anyone, in fact, it’s A Flock of Seagulls, and that band’s talent for evoking nostalgia and hurt out of dim scenarios that need all the keyboard swells and crypto-Edge guitar they can get to send them into deep space. “So Haunted,” like “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)”, reminds me of how adolescent experiences still sting when remembered, and a way out if we listen hard enough, maybe. Just don’t listen too closely — the chorus will disappoint.

Is David Byrne angling for new mainstream viability? I know, it’s not a “comeback,” he hasn’t gone anywhere. But first there’s this news. Then he shows up on stage yelling “You Can Call Me Al” with Paul Simon. Successfully waving aside the gnats of revisionism, despite assaults from white boys who can’t dismiss Vampire Weekend without alluding to “Afro-pop” (whatever that means), Rob reminds us of Graceland‘s greatness (“neurotic wordplay as a second language”) and makes a case for The Rhythm of the Saints’ too.

Is David Byrne angling for new mainstream viability? I know, it’s not a “comeback,” he hasn’t gone anywhere. But first there’s this news. Then he shows up on stage yelling “You Can Call Me Al” with Paul Simon. Successfully waving aside the gnats of revisionism, despite assaults from white boys who can’t dismiss Vampire Weekend without alluding to “Afro-pop” (whatever that means), Rob reminds us of Graceland‘s greatness (“neurotic wordplay as a second language”) and makes a case for The Rhythm of the Saints’ too.