June 12, 2006
The future of pop music is PIP music.
The Pipettes are so fucking great it makes me want to cry cry cry. They bring the life back to my bruised pop heart. Their website has a biography that is more of a manifesto, which reads as if it was written by the Cappuccino Kid (and if you get that reference, you get a handjob - no google cheats!). Writing about pop music history they say, it “snakes and twists and turns back on itself, a history of ruptures and wrong-turnings. But let us not start with The Beatles. Let us not speak their name.” They are, however, clearly obsessed with Phil Spector and all things girl group, but they also sound like they were born of the sperm of Paul Weller (The Jam, The Style Council). Their debut album We Are The Pipettes, due July 17, is exactly the type of music he was producing in the early eighties for artists like Tracie Young. There is also a heavy dose of early Kirsty MacColl.
What you need to know: They are British, based in Brighton, with 3 girls (Becki, Rose, and Gwenno - who is actually from Cardiff) and 4 guys (The Cassettes, who like to hide). The great indie blog Torture Garden has been their biggest champion.
Girls Aloud are built on all sorts of pop music references: surf music, girl group, electro – they mixed all that with clever lyrics and a certain vim, verve and vigor. The Pipettes are an indie-pop extension of that idea. I’ve noticed one thing is true of many of their songs: they are great pop melodies lifted into transcendence by amazing wallofsound strings and beautiful singing. Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me is a great example: it starts like a Gogo’s track, but then the chorus vocals take it to an unexpected gorgeous place - it gives me chills.
I was playing the lead single Pull Shapes (see post below) over and over this weekend and my roommate was like, "What is that horrible sound? Get it off now!" I'll convert her yet! Pull Shapes exemplifies what happens when a worthy group gets a good budget and good production. The Internet is leaking with “live on Radio” versions of this song, but the final production is a Technicolor masterpiece. It even has its own crowd noise on the middle eight!
The album may very well be The Album of 2006. ??? 14 songs, the longest at 3:03! It boasts great titles like It Hurts to See You Dance So Well and Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling). There are uptempos such as ABC (with its chorus lyrics: “ABC, 123…he don’t care about XTC..it ain’t in any of his categories”) and beautiful midtempos like the swoony A Winter’s Sky. Spread the word if you like them… Viva pip music!
Hear more Pipettes on their myspace page