Saturday, September 10, 2011

Song of the day

"One Million Year Trip", by Laetitia Sadier.

I have been listening to quite a lot of the elaborate prog-pop of Elektra-era Stereolab recently. I always assumed that Stereolab operated a bit like I understand Portishead do, in that the guys (or "guy" in the case of Stereolab, that guy being Tim Gane) came up with the music and, at some point thereafter, Laetitia Sadier threw down some kind of Marxist-Leninist tracts to sing over the top. But listening to her solo album, "The Trip", I can see that this wasn't in fact the case: there is a lot of the Stereolab sound on this record, not least on this song, which I interpret, lyrically and perhaps musically (most evidently in the backing harmonies), to be "about" Mary Hansen, who went on her own million-year trip as the result of a cycling tragedy in London, after which Stereolab were, understandably, never quite the same. (Although their last few albums nevertheless contained enough good-natured pop experimentalism to keep me coming back, and I do miss them.)

There is also something in this song, a particular chord change or guitar line perhaps, that reminds me of "Two Rivers", by The Meat Puppets, a song that I am always happy to be reminded of. Oh, look, here it comes: