Nah… – Road Trip

Nah… – Road Trip
SONG OF THE DAY

The Great American Road Trip was conceived as a thing of barren majesty. Two fantastic-looking guys barreling down a completely empty highway in an enormous convertible, flanked on each side by an endless landscape. The color of the convertible is unknown since our movie is filmed in black and white. The next generation kicked the dudes to the curb, replacing them with Thelma and Louise. The last great American road trip movie was Rain Man, whose casting suggests that the requirement to be “fantastic-looking” only applied to the driver. I’m not sure why these are always same-sex, non-intimate affairs. But a couple on an American road trip always ends up like Bonnie and Clyde, dead on the side of the road because no one can stand to be around them.

The Great European Road Trip differs from its American cousin. In Europe, the vehicles are smaller but more expensive, the roads are windier, and the actors are better-dressed. They are horribly witty, and fun to stand beside at a cocktail party. The participants are in a relationship, which we facilitate either by jamming them hip-to-hip in a tiny sports car, or by balancing them in tandem on a motor scooter, allowing for much clutching, squeezing, and mashing-together of faces. Americans began to look longingly towards the European Road Trip in 1966, when our highways became gridlocked with bloated, sunburned families wearing white t-shirts tucked into plaid shorts, and crammed into station wagons lugging Airstream trailers.

Nah… celebrates road trips of all stripes with their new single, “Road Trip,” a shimmering slice of sweet tweedom. The track kicks off with an infectious bass line, soon joined by jangly guitars and voices that playfully exchange verses to create a song that sounds like today but feels like that special sunny afternoon that you’ve never forgotten.

We featured a previous release by Nah…, “Summer’s Failing,” back in March. The group self-describes as “a DIY project of Amsterdam-based music-blogger Estella Rosa and Munster-based psychotherapist Sebastian Voss. Nah… make janglepop with quotes and references of pop/indie culture with a wink.” I wanted to know more about the band, and Estella was kind enough to answer a few questions via email. I was surprised to learn that she and Sebastian have never met! That probably explains why they haven’t played any live shows.

What “process” (everything is a process these days) do you and Sebastian use when you create your music?

Estella: Usually Seb comes back from his music time moments (he has a responsible, busy job) and has quickly thrown a musical basis together. I listen, bounce my ideas, and we start working out melodies, themes, and lyrics. We then record bits and bops which Seb works out into a mix, adding or subtracting stuff along the way, and sculpting until we are satisfied.

We now have the tools to allow virtually anyone to create, distribute, and promote their music. Is the “Democratization of Music” a good thing?

Estella: I am all for it! I believe music is about individual expression! Not everyone is lucky enough to learn skills or afford expensive gear. Plus this way we have total control over the whole process, including the look of things. It is also really cool to see who buys your stuff!

On “Everything,” the B-side to “Road Trip,” you sing about information overload. Is the mass of music, music platforms, and music blogs out there adding to the problem?

Not particularly music. Just that general sense of suddenly having two personae (virtual and real) and constantly being distracted by it. It’s like this noise in my head sometimes, that I find really hard to switch off. But then again, if it wasn’t for social media, we wouldn’t be doing this.

What do you do when you’re not making music as NAH…?

Estella: I have my kids, several jobs, and I like to wander around Europe to see historical sights. Also read and learn about history and genealogy.

Cat person or dog person?

Estella: Cat for sure! They are so confident and gracious and so totally themselves… Love them!

Anything you would like to say to Reverb Raccoon’s handful of devoted readers?

Estella: Thanks for reading this!!!

Thanks, Estella. That was great!

“Road Trip” b/w “Everything” is available for download or as a CD on Nah’s Bandcamp page. And be sure to follow Nah… on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Bonus Video: The cool official video for “Road Trip.” Enjoy!

Reverb Raccoon’s Favorite Songs of 2018

Songs of the Year

Today in history marks 294 days since the inception of our Song of the Day feature. During that span, we made 162 posts, each featuring a song by an excellent, under-recognized musician. Our original intent was to compose a few well-written paragraphs each day about a track that the world needed to hear. As the days progressed, the sentences – and the space between posts – got longer. We didn’t post every day, and the latter posts sometimes lacked composure. But we’re going to declare victory anyway. The amount of Good Music being created each day in bedrooms and home studios is staggering. I was fortunate to hear a fraction of it. Here, in no particular order, are my favorite Songs of the Day from 2018…

Lo-Fi Ho – Now You’re Here
“Now You’re Here,” by Lo-Fi Ho, is the track that started it all. I’d been kicking around the Song of the Day idea for a while; this is the song that made me get up, walk down to the computer, and write. I don’t know how much is real vs. sampled, but it’s a great song with a piano riff that’s been stuck in my head since February. “Now You’re Here” inscribed the template for future Songs of the Day: a self-recorded track – often by an outsider – that is flung out onto Bandcamp where I could discover it in the New Arrivals section. Lo-Fi Ho is now going by Veronica Voyeur. Change is Good.

Allison Keil – For Autumn
Our second Song of the Day (no, I’m not going to list all 162 SOTD’s) was the track that made me realize how much great music is floating around waiting to be caught and appreciated. On the surface, Allison Keil’s “Autumn” is a crappy recording made in a dorm room in Salzburg, Austria. But below the technical limitations we discover a beautiful purity, Daniel Johnston with a much better voice. Plus, Allison likes my Instagram posts. She’s relocated to Portland where her talent will, it is to be hoped, grow and find a wider audience.

FreeThinker – Pineapple Sticknpoke
I love singers who just lean back and let it rip, and Molly Giessing is one of the best rippers I’ve ever heard. FreeThinker’s “Pineapple Sticknpoke” is arguably my favorite song of 2018. This is the one I turn to at random times during the day, and every time I hear the track I’m amazed at the power and exuberance of Molly’s delivery. I’ve listened to this track more than any other song this year, in part because every time I dial it up I have to hit the replay button at least once.

The Stillvettas – Mountain
And speaking of singers who let it rip, the Stillvetta’s Quinton Rundell can hit the back wall and a few cars in the parking lot. Throw in some beautiful guitar work by Thayne Yazzie and the Stillvetta’s “Mountain” becomes another one of those go-to tracks that I’ve searched for and clicked on many many times this year. The Bellingham, WA band was brand new when I discovered them, and they seem to be doing well. Hope to see them live someday.

Cowboy Grizzly – Wash Away and Just a Day
Mockingbird, the debut album by Cowboy Grizzly (Grant McMahan) gets my vote for Album of the Year. An absolutely stunning effort, any one of the album’s nine tracks could have been a Song of the Day. In an age when individual tracks have taken precedence over LP’s, Mockingbird should be appreciated in its entirety. By only featuring two tracks, I feel like I’ve slighted the other seven. Grant has relocated from Arlington, TX to Austin. You will hear more from him in the future.

Shay Spence – Bracelet Of Teeth
You know a song has spoken to you, personally, when you imagine yourself as the singer, delivering the lines to… who knows? A ghost maybe? Shay Spence’s “Bracelet Of Teeth” features those reach-out-and-grab-you lyrics that paint a vivid portrait of the human condition.

marcy, I think you’re doing it on purpose
taking all my words and turning them to torches
and bending up my circuits
almost like a smile, almost like I’m worth it…

And, if it matters, I think my write-up was pretty good, too. Shay is now known as Cassette Spence. She fronts the NYC band, Vassals.

Dazed – Bubblegum
Sometimes you don’t need an entire song. Sometimes all you need is a couple of lines, like this pair from Dazed’s “Bubblegum:”

I guess it’s funny how my record collection knows more about me
Than you have ever done

That’s one of the best post-breakup lines I’ve heard. And if I wasn’t already in a wonderful, totally permanent relationship, I would write it on a scrap of paper and stick it in my wallet for future reference.

Bacon Hammer – The Arms of Jesus
And speaking of a couple of lines being enough, we can’t forget this gem from Bacon Hammer’s “The Arms of Jesus:”

If Jesus had a gun
I’ll bet the masses would have made more donations

When the members of Bacon Hammer aren’t making hilarious holiday songs, they are making beautiful music as Yellow Dog. Check out their album, She’s a Ghost. Eleven tracks by Greg Jarrow and Charlie Auer that float somewhere between the Byrds and David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name.

Dog Mom – Blue
The first time I heard Dog Mom’s “Blue,” I turned to my awesome wife and said, “This is a great song; I just wish she’d tune the guitars” and moved on to the next track. A few days later, I caved: a good song is a good song and “Blue” is too good to pass up. What’s a little dissonance between friends? A raw but major talent, Dog Mom (Kim Locke) wields her haunting vocals and stark arrangements like a barely-concealed switchblade. I’m proud to be one of Dog Mom’s early adopters. Look for a new single in the coming days. Kim’s also a good Twitter follow.

The Green Mushroom Band – Don’t Disappear
I’m a sucker for pretty songs of unrequited love (who isn’t?). Maybe that’s why it took me so long to requite that beast. The Green Mushroom Band’s “Don’t Disappear” is one of my favorite examples of the genre. Wistfully delivered by Riccardo Stura and Chiara Cortese, the track features something else of which I’m a sucker: real honest-to-god horns. Arranging horns is a lost art, probably because the best arrangers couldn’t read music, much less score out the notes. Another track that I dial up habitually, “Don’t Disappear” should have been a huge hit in 1973.

Golden Teardrops – I Can’t Let You Slip Away
And speaking of horns, “I Can’t Let You Slip Away” by Golden Teardrops features an excellent horn arrangement, but of the (I think) synthesized variety. I’d love to hear this performed live with, say, the Tower of Power horn section or the Memphis Horns (probably dated myself on that one). But the real stars of this show are Lei Marquez’s softly powerful vocal – especially the high notes in the bridge – and the galloping guitar of Ryan Marquez. The duo makes Retro feel as fresh as Tomorrow.

theCatherines – Every Time You Say It’s Okay I Know It Is Okay
Like Golden Teardrops, theCatherines (Heiko Schneider and Sandra Ost) provide a modern take on the jangly pop of years that are retreating in the rearview mirror. The Byrds, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Association all receive a passing nod. theCatherines appeared in these virtual pages five times during 2018 (a record!), with “Every Time You Say It’s Okay I Know It Is Okay” representing our initial encounter. The track is also noteworthy for being one of the better posts by Fluffy the Cat, who thinks every song is about looking out the front window at the people on the street.

Christopher James – Mount Kisco Moon and So Long and Goodbye
Chris set out to record a song each day in the month of May. He didn’t make it – just as I didn’t publish a post each day – but the seventeen tracks comprising In the Month of May represent a fine collection of demos that may someday become an excellent album. I was lucky to get in on the ground floor, and featured three of the tracks. “Mount Kisco Moon” will resonate with anyone who has been stuck in a zone of comfort. “So Long and Goodbye” is a personal favorite as the write-up was one of my better efforts. Formerly frontman for Art School Dropouts, Chris is performing with a “new” band: the reformation of his first band from high school. So perhaps he’s simultaneously moved on and stayed put.

Steven Lipsticks and His Magic Band – The Nest
“The Nest” is existentially similar to – but musically quite different from – Christopher James’ “Mount Kisco Moon:” the examination of a situation that brings both comfort and a desire to escape. Steven Lipsticks and His Magic Band (Stefano Rossetti) joins theCatherines in the five-timers club, his first appearance being way back in 2015 when we asked the burning question, “Why Isn’t This Guy Famous?” As he proves in “The Nest,” the issue is clearly not lack of talent. The write-up represents one of my better late-stage posts, created after I had watched The Royal Tenenbaums perhaps ten too many times.

The Ruby Palms – Cleopatra
I saved one of my absolute favorites for last. The Ruby Palms’ “Cleopatra” rocks with a musical lyricism that is instantly recognizable yet will get you out of your chair each time you hear it.  This is the music that every kid who ever picked up an electric guitar aspired to make. And every kid who ever picked up a tennis racket would be happy to stand in front of a mirror and do the air guitar thing while this track blasts away from his bedroom bookshelf. Tremendous vocal. And it has handclaps in the rhythm track, so you know it must be good.

And there, as they say, you have it: a handful of tracks pulled from the 162 Songs of the Day featured this year in Reverb Raccoon. And the remainder? I guarantee that every one is worth several listens. If you don’t believe me, go to my Archives page and click on any random link. The music you hear will amaze you. And be sure to follow Reverb Raccoon’s Song Of The Day playlist on Spotify.

You can support deserving independent musicians like those featured in Reverb Raccoon by purchasing and downloading their songs, or by ordering their CD’s and cassettes. Or, if money’s an issue, just send the artist a note of encouragement. And always share your discoveries with your friends.

ROOKIE – I Can’t Have You But I Want You

ROOKIE – I Can’t Have You But I Want You
SONG OF THE DAY

The chasm between what we have and what we want has loomed large in the human experience since that eons-ago moment when Thag Jones gazed from the mouth of his cave at the distant woolly mammoth and measured his desire to transform the creature into a rump roast of epic proportions against his realization that any attempt to vanquish the beast would result in his own conversion into an unimpressive shish kabob carried home on the tusk of Papa Mammoth for the bemusement of his children. ROOKIE revisits the gulf that separates desire and fulfillment in their new single, “I Can’t Have You But I Want You.” We could be talking about the longing for a relationship, money, a job… No, let’s be honest, we’re talking about somebody who’s really into someone else and they don’t want anything to do with it. I mean, this is rock-n-roll, right? Nobody does a song like this about a job.

Whatever or whomever inspired ROOKIE to lay down this track, the result is a swaggering slice of rock and pop that channels every person who ever plugged in a guitar, thought about the ex who dumped them, and blew the memory into a million fragments with the slash of a single power chord. Layer on an excellent lead vocal and harmonies sung by someone who has more chops than one typically stumbles across in Bandcamp’s New Arrivals section, and the product is a track that will have you popping your foot on the floor and trying to sing the damn thing. Well, I did, anyway. Your mileage may vary.

Longtime readers of these virtual pages (both of them if we include the cat) know that the paragraph after the Bandcamp thingy is where I cite an obscure reference to display my encyclopedic knowledge of popular music (volumes 1956 through 1984), but I will refrain from reaching too far into the back shelf this time. I immediately conjured the J Geils Band with overtones of Big Star and maybe Badfinger. The arrangement features a Fender Rhodes and what sounds like a Hammond B-3 (my bad, it’s a C-3), so that should give you some idea. That overdriven lead line in the chorus came from somewhere and at one time I would have spent two hours going through my music library trying to find it but I’m hungry and I haven’t had supper yet and if I wrap this up I won’t have to join the masses of humanity that want something that they can’t have. Which in my case is my awesome wife’s awesome leftover Shepard’s Pie. Didn’t see that one coming, did you Diann?

ROOKIE is, according to this excellent article by Josh Terry, Joe Bordenaro (vocals, drums), Max Loebman (vocals, guitar), Dimitri Panoutsos (guitar), Kevin Decker (bass), and Elan Frankel (keyboards). On “I Can’t Have You But I Want You” they are augmented by Chris Kulwin (guitar) and Steve Kostakes (organ). Joe and Max are the primary songwriters. While the band is relatively new, all members have been active in the Chicago music scene for a few years. They obviously know their way around a studio and have a natural feel for combining rock and pop. (insert bad joke about ROOKIE not being rookies) I’ll bet ROOKIE kicks ass in a club. “I Can’t Have You But I Want You” is probably a good representation of their live sound, as it was “recorded live to tape.” The single is available on 7-inch vinyl from Treehouse Records. The first ten pre-orders come with a limited edition chastity belt key. Not sure what that’s about, but I might have to order the single just to find out.

You can support deserving independent musicians like ROOKIE by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. Or visit their page at Treehouse Records. And be sure to follow ROOKIE on Facebook and Instagram.

Low Horizon – Keep

Low Horizon – Keep
SONG OF THE DAY

I’ve told this story before and I’m sure I’ll tell it again. And when I’m an old man and can’t remember what I said two minutes ago I’ll probably tell it again and again and again until someone says “Wheel Uncle Raccoon off the front porch” and some anonymous young person that I can’t see because they are behind me pushing my wheelchair shoves me into a corner of the kitchen and I babble on in the company of the cartoon cherries and flying frying pans that flutter across the breakfast nook wallpaper. So here’s my story…

Eons ago, in the Cretaceous Era of my youth, I washed ashore against the rocky substrate of Spearfish, South Dakota. The town had little to recommend it, save a view of red sandstone hills and a bar called Bernie’s Tomahawk Lounge that served cheap 3.2 beer at happy hour. Encountering a member of the indigenous species, I inquired as to the opportunities for being entertained by live music. “Try the Holiday Inn out by the interstate,” he replied. “They’s a good band whats gonna play Saturday night.”

The fellow spoke as if Saturday night was a distant eventuality when, in fact, it was Saturday night. I dutifully trucked out to said interstate and settled in behind a table in a lounge that was completely devoid of other patrons. Not a good sign. As I sipped a plastic cup full of 3.2 beer that tasted suspiciously like a gassy 1.5 near-beer, four guys dressed like Mormon missionaries ambled onto the “stage,” a corner of the room without tables, sorted out their guitar-guitar-bass-drums lineup, and stumbled into “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” It was… very good. And I know that wasn’t the beer talking, because I’m not sure my plastic cup actually had any beer in it.

At that time, I fancied myself a singer-songwriter and would occasionally show up at an open mike night, figuring stardom was just a C/G-to-Fmaj7/C chord change away. And I remember thinking, sitting in the Holiday Inn Lounge out by the interstate in Spearfish, South Dakota: “These guys are a lot better than I am, and they can’t even get out of the Spearfish Holiday Inn. What chance do I have?”

Fast forward an embarrassing number of waist sizes and I find myself listening to Low Horizon’s “Keep.”

i sit and watch a movie
it costs more than i’ll ever see
i sit and listen to music
better than anything i’ll ever make

but i keep on living
and i keep dreaming

Why do people create music, refine it, record it, put it out there for the world to absorb or ignore, when people with greater talent are working two jobs, barely scraping by as a Human much less as a Musician? I don’t know, either, but I’m glad they do because if they didn’t I wouldn’t have anyone to write about. And speaking of motivations, why do I write this column, other than because I crave the thousands of complimentary emails that I receive after each posting? I suppose I do it because when you start a feature called Song of the Day, people expect to see an article at least once every other week and I hate to disappoint my fans.

In “Keep,” Low Horizon (loho to their friends) asks the existential questions that we ask ourselves when the Upper Hinge of Life creaks then pops from the door frame, swinging wildly against the pivot of the still-intact-but-failing lower hinge, as you try to control this mini-catastrophe by holding fast to a slippery brass doorknob and jerking your arm spasmodically like a cartoon cat with its tail in an electric socket.

i will always be in love with
someone who
doesn’t want to be with me
i will always love you
even if you never dream about me

i will never be in love with
someone who
needs to be with me
but i’ll always love you
even if you forget about me

Now, I hate to sound like a non-tenure track assistant professor of Russian literature who cheats by including Nabokov in the curriculum, but these are some primo lyrics. And by primo I mean Bread’s Baby I’m-a Want You album quality, assuming David Gates spent every Friday night talking to his girlfriend who works the late shift on the suicide hotline and I mean that in a good way.

Low Horizon, based in Houston TX, is John Gottlieb (guitar, vocals, synth), Brandon T. Cane (guitar, synth), David Dao (bass), and Jasmine Fuller (drums). “Keep” is from their newly released mini-album, No-fi Tape, which they describe as “somewhere between an EP and a preview of our new album… These are alternate ‘lo-fi’ mixes of some of the songs that will be on our album.” I hope “Keep” is preserved in its current lo-fi state because it sounds great. The track has a rawness, an honesty that is a perfect match for the lyrics. The track starts quietly and builds the way all of the best songs build: in that way that has you reaching for the replay button before the final fuzzy guitar tone has faded from the ether. Maybe bring the lead vocal forward a bit in the chorus.

You can support deserving independent musicians like Low Horizon by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to visit Low Horizon’s web page, and follow Low Horizon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

Lil Opioid Crisis – Polar Expre$$ II

Lil Opioid Crisis – Polar Expre$$ II
SONG OF THE DAY

A couple sits on either side of a small table at what appears to be a sidewalk café in southern Italy. I have no idea why these things are always set in southern Italy, but they are. We haven’t cast our actors yet, but I’m pretty sure the woman will be played by Jennifer Aniston. The man, wearing a white dress shirt above khakis, is leaning back in his chair, absorbed by the Wall Street Journal. His legs are crossed in the European fashion, exposing a modest expanse of unsocked ankle between the pants cuff and the top of his Sperrys. Without glancing up from his newspaper, the man – speaking in the boring white guy voice that telegraphs to the audience that Jennifer Aniston will be the star of this show – says, “I read about this kid in Boone, North Carolina. He wants to be a rapper.” And Jennifer Aniston, with casual elegance, waves a hornet away from her wine glass, extracts her iPhone XS from wherever it was intracted, and taps BOONE…

No. Stop the presses or whatever it is one stops in these situations. Our screenplay is not splashed about in rosy rom-com pastels. Its scenes are etched on brittle celluloid in black, white, and various shades of gray. In our movie an aging table in a musty, dimly-lit basement with pitch-black shadows is swept clean by an arm encased in a woolen greatcoat, and a huge map unrolled upon it. As the camera slowly pans in upon the map, a gentleman’s arm appears in the frame and extends a withered, shaking index finger. The ancient digit touches down at the junction of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, then traces the crest of the Appalachians southwest the breadth of a county to US 321. A nudge to the east and the finger grounds itself on Boone. “There,” rasps a voice perhaps once strong but now frayed by the cobwebs of time. “That’s where he is. The kid who wants to be a hip-hop artist…” And the disembodied voice of Morgan Freeman intones, “That kid was Troy Santolla. And the odds were stacked against him.”

Uh – Cut? Yeah, there’s this young guy in North Carolina, from up in that Carter Family country, and he’s a hip-hop musician. It’s not “He wants to be a rapper” or “He wants to be a hip-hop artist.” He is those things. Or as Lil Opioid Crisis would say, “It’s pretty simple, man.”

Lil Opioid Crisis is the creation of Troy Santolla. We’ve written about Troy Santolla before, back in 2016 and earlier this year. Lil Opioid Crisis, aka Lil OC, first appeared when he “auditioned” to be a weatherman (I think) on Up Late App State, “a late-night comedy show that is entirely produced, directed, and hosted by students” of Appalachian State University. As Lil Opioid Crisis, Troy has released a new single, “Polar Expre$$ II.” And if you were thinking you had arrived on the platform late, no, there was no “Polar Expre$$ I.” Maybe the prequel will appear in the boxed set that will someday provide a vinyl retrospective of Troy’s career.

“Lil Opioid Crisis will return every now and again,” Troy told us in an email. “I’m hoping Lil Opioid Crisis will kind of be an alter ego I bring out every now and again to make people laugh.” But Troy has no intention of being a novelty act. “I do take my music very seriously,” he said. “A novelty act is the last thing I want to be. But at this point in my career I am just trying to figure out a way to be heard. If putting on an act is how I first gain attention, then so be it. But my dream is to be known as a legitimate artist.”

Troy says he is following the paths of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. “They have incredible amounts of positivity within their music and they both have dream chaser mentalities. Both of them at one point were doing exactly what I am now, and I hope one day to spread positivity with my music like they do.” Troy’s musical influences extend beyond hip-hop to artists as diverse as Ben E. King and Disturbed. “I enjoy all music that has a flow,” Troy said. “Classical music influences the positivity in my songs, while heavier rock influences the passion and upbeat tempo within my music.”

When asked how well he had been accepted in Boone, North Carolina, a place typically not associated with musicians who do not carry a hollow stringed instrument, Troy replied, “I actually do have a decent fan base in Boone. But regardless, there is almost little to nothing the folks wouldn’t accept up there. Boone is the first place I performed live, and the place where I wrote a large majority of my music so it will always have a special place in my heart.”

“Polar Expre$$ II” is available for streaming on Spotify or iTunes. And check out other songs by Troy Santolla, including the album Genesis, on Soundcloud. And be sure to follow Troy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

theCatherines – The more we kept moving the farther away we got from us

theCatherines – The more we kept moving the farther away we got from us
SONG OF THE DAY

Since the hour Thag Jones sought solace in the cave of that cute Neanderthal from across the valley, and honored their union by painting a picture of himself slaying a bison on the rocky wall of their abode, humanity has endeavored to categorize romantic relationships. Psychologist John Allen Lee described six styles of love, an incomplete list that omitted It’ll Never Work You’re Just Too Different – the style experienced by the flip phone toting Neanderthal and Thag, an archaic Homo sapiens who may not have upgraded to the latest iPhone but at least carried a Motorola RAZR – and likewise failed to describe the worst possible type, style, or sub species of relationship, the dreaded Long Distance Relationship. But the worst of the worst relationship is the Long Distance Relationship in which the correspondents see each other on a regular basis, daily or even continuously if they are so unlucky as to find themselves under the same roof.

The divergence of two people progressing from Meet Cute to They’re A Thing Now to a pair of emotionally separated nodes at the forked end of a schlag-ruthe makes for a poignant film called The Break-Up which ended unrealistically in another Meet Cute and a coquettish smile over the shoulder from Jennifer Aniston suggesting a late night “U up?” may lie in the future. With “The more we kept moving the farther away we got from us,” theCatherines remind us that Progress in a relationship may not mean Becoming Closer, and taking The Next Step may mean admitting defeat and Getting the Hell Out of Dodge, taking the Instagram account with you, embracing a future that may be embitteringly lonely but not as lonely as when you were together as a couple.

“The more we kept moving the farther away we got from us” was written and performed by Heiko Schneider of Hamburg, Germany, who describes the track thusly: “The fall brings even theCaths in a kinda melancholy mood and a photo by a friend inspired our first train song… long overdue 😀 so here is our new single, a little baroque-jangle if we may say so…” The song is arguably theCatherines’ best effort to date, a wonderland of Byrdsian guitars and overdubbed harmonies that summon the ghosts of The Mamas and the Papas or The Association, with some excellently unexpected lead guitar work. I need to throw in an Obscure Reference to demonstrate my Encyclopedic Knowledge of Popular Music, so I’ll point out that the the lead guitar that wells up from the nether to open the track is a stylistic dead-ringer to Stephen Stills’ lead in CSN’s “Pre-Road Downs.” You can look it up.

After listening the “Pre-Road Downs” and confirming that I have way too much music crammed into my head, please visit theCatherines’ Bandcamp page and download their entire discography. And be sure to follow theCatherines (who have now graced these virtual pages five times) on Facebook.