From the Archives: Winterpills - Broken Arm
Posted at 9:45am, 2/3/2011
Jeremy from Fingertips joins us each month as he scours the betterPropaganda archives, highlighting gems buried a few years back in our database.
This month we bring you "Broken Arm" from the Winterpills.
"Broken Arm,” from the western Massachusetts band Winterpills, has the minor melancholy folk-rock tension of something from the ’60s (Simon & Garfunkel? Mamas & Papas?), and I think the thing that really sticks with me is how the hook is, somehow, the first melodic line of the verse. Normally a pop song has to work up to its hook but this one starts with it: a simple descending melody that curls back up at the bottom, and it may not sound like much the first time you hear it, when singer Philip Price sings on his own; but one of the band’s characteristic sounds is the vocal interplay between Price and keyboardist Flora Reed, and when Reed harmonizes that same line when it returns (at around 0:47), well, yikes. Wow. She stays with him for (I think) three notes then they separate into the most wonderful intervals. A parallel highlight is the interplay between the acoustic and electric guitar, the acoustic crisp and precise, the electric slurry and evasive. (Note a very clear “bad word” happens at 2:03 so be careful if children or bosses are nearby.) “Broken Arm” is from the band’s second CD, The Light Divides, released on Signature Sounds in February 2007.
- Jeremy Schlosberg