It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a proper New Music Monday song — not because there was suddenly a cessation of new music, of course, more due to my own delay in getting the blogging frequency back where it was pre-Summer 2012. Still working on that. But in the meantime, there is in fact some new music that is demanding to be heard, and it’s some great stuff.
Allison Crutchfield is a former member of P.S. Eliot, a band formed with her sister Katie a few years back but which broke up earlier this year. And I’m not saying it’s a good thing they broke up or anything, but if it would have meant that Allison wouldn’t have formed her new band Swearin’, then maybe I’m not saying that I’m not saying it. Because Swearin’s debut album, the aptly titled Swearin’ released this past August, is one of the best great-on-first-listen albums I’ve heard this year. It’s a rollicking-good punky pop delight — a throwback to great ’90s indie rock. More specifically, it’s a bit of That Dog (circa 1997’s “Did You Ever”) and Guided by Voices, and a whole lot of Superchunk. Both Crutchfield and co-songwriter and -singer Kyle Gilbride at times sound like dopplegangers for Mac McCaughan in their intonations (combined with That Dog’s Anna Waronker, in Crutchfield’s case), and many of the songs are very Superchunky in their propulsion.
But don’t get me wrong, Swearin’ isn’t just a page ripped out of those bands’ songbooks — Crutchfield and the band more than amply give the music a personality all its own, making for a record (if you’ll excuse my anachronism) that will get played again and again for a long time to come in my household. An instant classic, to use the overused. And among the songs that will most frequently get the volume turned up is “Kenosha,” a song that sounds familiar but exhibits that sheen of new quite nicely. It’s a snarling kiss-off of a song that pulls no punches:
I hope you like Kenosha so much you stay there.
With songs like this, I’m already looking forward to the next album from Swearin’ — but I’ll be enjoying this one each day until then.