“I Wasn’t Her” – the Blueflowers
Relaxed, reverb-laced tale of woe from a Detroit-based quintet that’s new on the scene but features musicians with a lot of experience, including two–guitarist Tony Hamera and vocalist Kate Hinote (can that be her real name? “High note”?)–who had previously fronted Ether Aura, a dream pop band with a bit of a following in the ’90s. Not to sound like a broken record on the matter, but I continue not to understand music culture’s relentless focus on newcomers when music itself is so enriched by the background and experience of the players. I don’t think musicians can sound simultaneously so laid-back and so compelling without years of playing under their belts.
In any case, dream pop is ostensibly out the door this time in favor of an old-fashioned sort of Americana that offers echoes of hard-core country and western in its slo-mo twang and steel-pedal sorrow. And yet I’m hearing in the song’s central hook—when Hinote, silkily, sings “You weren’t everything that I wanted” in the chorus—something that comes from outside the genre in which the band appears to be operating. That is not by any means a country and western melody, and hearing it here makes me realize rather abruptly that there is in fact a musical place in which C&W and dream pop are not at all far apart, given both genres’ love of reverb and dolor. Being so personally against the over-genre-ization of music, I love when the borders grow foggy, and find myself drawn again and again to songs that can’t be given a simple genre tag.
“I Wasn’t Her” can be found on the band’s self-released debut album, Watercolor Ghost Town, released in June.
MP3 via Last.fm; thanks to the blog Hits in the Car for the head’s up.