Fingertips Explores the Archives: The Autumns - Slumberdoll
Jeremy from Fingertips joins us every Friday as he scours the betterPropaganda archives, highlighting gems buried a few years back in our database.
This week we bring you "Slumberdoll" from The Autumns.
On "Slumberdoll," the L.A.-based Autumns manage the wondrous but challenging task of being both lovely and noisy. A perky-chimy guitar and chipper drumbeat open the song, but then are suspended into a spacey wash as singer/guitarist Matthew Kelly enters with his voice distant and filtered. When his voice regularizes and the band kicks in, note that we're now hanging out in the musically tense fourth chord (that is, four whole notes up from the home chord--usually denoted with the Roman numeral IV; trust me, it's a time-honored place to hang out if you want to create tension). We're not there for long, but it's kind of fun that the song feels like it's starting there, because of the production choices leading up to this point. So when we return to the starting place, harmonically speaking, it feels wonderful. There'll be a five (V) chord in there too (e.g. around 1:08) to assist with the ultimate sense of resolution. But by now note how much noise the band has filled the song with; I particularly like the slanty discordant edges at least one of the guitars (there are a lot of guitars going on here) throws into the mix, and big open spaces the other guitars carve into the production. And yet an underlying sort of gorgeousness persists because of the unabashed use of the ancient I-IV-V progression. The return of the perky-chimy guitar helps too. "Slumberdoll" is a song from the band's self-titled 2004 CD on Pseudopod Records, which was their third full-length release. The band has been playing together since four of them were seniors in high school way way back in 1992; and, you know, as much as the internet music scene seems always about the newest, shiniest thing, there is something important and often overlooked to be said for experience.
- Jeremy Schlosberg