Fingertips Explores the Archives: The Essex Green - Don't Know Why (You Stay)
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 "Don't Know Why (You Stay)" from The Essex Green.
Previous songs I'd heard from The Essex Green had their charms somewhat blanketed by the earnest groovy-'60s vibe laid on with such love and attention that it all grew a bit thick--everything from specific guitar sounds to the character of background harmonies and the tone of flute flourishes seemed almost too studied, or maybe too precious. Or maybe it was just the songs didn't stick. But the band came back in 2006 with its third full-length CD (The Cannibal Sea) and with this song in particular, things really clicked for me. "Don't Know Why (You Stay)" has the crisp swagger of a great old Lindsay Buckingham tune, building a compelling whole from the steady, knowing layering together of its various parts; when the Mamas-and-Papas harmonies come in to flesh out the chorus, they seem the perfect embellishment rather than a cute bit of retro style. And darn if I don't love to death the mysteriously engaging vocal leap taken each time on the second "I don't know why" of each chorus. Too bulky to describe in words, just listen. It's mysteriously engaging, you'll see.
- Jeremy Schlosberg