Friday, May 31, 2013

SWL# 23: Katie and the Lichen, "Don't Shave"

I think Calvin Johnson (of Beat Happening, K Records) said it best when he quoted himself:  “According to me ‘Katie & the Lichen are the fun boss rad feminist pop super-car vibe queens of cave-rock.” Earlier this month the Vancouver-based 5-piece officially released their 3rd full-length, Yours Truly, on cassette through our very own Lost Sound Tapes and it… is… phenomenal. Ultimately, the real strength of Yours Truly, and in fact the whole K&TL catalog, is that is it so damn accessible—both sonically and lyrically. That’s no small feat given that Katie doesn’t write mindless pop lyrics. Her approach to musicianship: grassroots, feminist, pro independent music, pro all-ages is readily apparent here, but the delivery is so unassuming, so sincere, and so sweet that it’s anything but alienating. On my favorite song of the record, “Don’t Shave”, she sings:

my jagged tooth and a kissing booth
I left my heart for the wolves to chew
they will feed on anything you got
while you live on all the scraps they don't want
and these ugly streets seem to have it all
dig my grave and have a ball
get me out of this so called dream
get me away from the beauty queens

That’s when I knew there was something wrong
when they told me I was doing something wrong

When paired with ukes, a light touch of distortion and tremendous percussion work this song is not only lyrically evocative, but also warm and extremely listenable. It's also highly recommended.

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