Free and legal MP3: Air Waves (snappy, lo-fi chugger w/ happy energy)


“Sweetness” – Air Waves

Lord knows I don’t think of Fingertips as me sharing playlists with the world (um, see essay), but I have to say I entirely love how the three songs this week interlock musically. In particular, check out the strummy warmth of the intro here and how welcome it feels after the swaying sadness of Thorn’s tune. (And how perfect, somehow, that we first get that solitary drum beat, which functions as an instant head-clearer.)

Front woman Nicole Schneit is another alto, but hers is a different instrument than Thorn’s–a fuzzy, plainspoken, lo-fi voice, happy to get almost but not quite lost in the mix, happy to deliver a sing-song melody over a rumbling, chugging, two-chord accompaniment. I keep listening for a third chord but I don’t think they get there, and it goes to show you how far a snappy melody and some good innocent instrumental energy will take you in a pop song…along with, okay, some “oo-oos” and other oddities in the background, including maybe bird noises. At least I think those are bird noises.

Air Waves is a Brooklyn-based trio founded by Schneit; the name comes from a Robert Pollard song and is definitively two words, not one. To date the band has released one EP–in 2008, on Catbird Records; “Sweetness” is a new song, released on a compilation Winter Review 2010 disc put out in December by the label Underwater Peoples. The band has recently added a fourth member; a full-length album is expected later this year.

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