Fingertips Explores the Archives: The Electric Soft Parade - If That's the Case, Then I Don't Know
Jeremy from Fingertips joins us each month as he scours the betterPropaganda archives, highlighting gems buried a few years back in our database.
This week we bring you "If That's the Case, Then I Don't Know" from The Electric Soft Parade.
At once squonky and lithe, "If That's the Case, Then I Don't Know" features anthemic chords and resounding beats, scuffed up fetchingly with fuzzy guitars and electronic blips and boops. Add Alex White's nicely vulnerable, Brit-poppy vocals and the whole manages to trump the sum of its parts--quite an accomplishment, as the parts themselves are pretty darned keen. A casual know-how informs both the song structure and the production; we get a masterly mix of rhythm and melody, guitar and drum, busy-ness and spaciousness, loud and soft. The loud-soft thing is especially cool, since the White boys (brother Tom is on drums) aren't offering a standard sort of "here's the soft part, here's the loud part" approach as much as utilizing the dynamic range of sound throughout, much as a first-rate black and white photograph will display the blackest black, the whitest white, and many gradations of grey in between. Another cool thing is the nifty coda: note at 4:02 how the song's drive shifts gears, the beat moving to swinging triplets, before the drums pretty much disintegrate, electronically. Or something like that. The song can be found on the duo's third full-length CD, No Need to Be Downhearted, released in 2007 on Better Looking Records.
- Jeremy Schlosberg