It’s urgent. It’s ardent. It’s pop. Galaxy Lodge’s new single is a minor-fall, major-lift gem that doesn’t let up.
I chanced upon R.E.M.’s Letterman debut yet again, and I never not watch it when I stumble on it. They were basically college children, but they sported the conviction of kings-in-waiting. What it was, I think, is they knew they were going to change things somehow.
“Radio Free Europe” was hardly “A Hard Day’s Night,” but as somebody else pointed out on Twitter (I forget who, my apologies), that moment is like the lit-major (or social-science undergrad) equivalent of first seeing The Beatles on Sullivan.
But more than visage or veneer, the Athens, Georgia quartet’s sound that night had the makings of a conquest.
Buck was lording it over rather than Stipe, and though it wasn’t his invention, his brand of jangle guitar would form part of that era’s tapestry. In truth, threads of that Byrds-meet-Television kind of playing still exist to this day, and when you chance upon a group dishing it out with equal gusto, it’s kind of hard to resist.
Galaxy Lodge’s new single “Kiss This Goodbye” has that same sense of purpose and immediacy. It’s not exactly the tree, but as fruit go, this one clearly doesn’t fall far, especially when one finds they cut their teeth drinking all that Smiths-Housemartins-Aztec Camera in.
“Kiss This Goodbye” also does emotional counterpoint pretty well, marrying an up-tempo cadence with a dejectedness worthy of Moz. And with the tools at their disposal—they demo’d the track using a mess of disparate loops from a name drummer—it’s amazing how, despite obsessing over audio-editing arcana, the end product remains a bruised gem rather than a polished stone.
And its laborious (not labored) lyricism isn’t something to frown upon either:
“Oh my, the writings on the wall, they must be true / for there’s something in the way the wind just blew, harsh and colder than it used to / and the way the effervescent sunlight of each day, has turned into lifeless dull and gray, / wasted chances spent and the payment’s due.”
With more day-ruing and less day-seizing, fans of reverb-heavy, oddball clean-tone-guitar fare would certainly have something to write home about.