Fingertips Flashback: Dealership (from December 2004)

A certain sort of confidence is required to open a song with the line “Let’s go, and I’ll play all my songs,” but singer Chris Groves has such a sweet-sailing voice that he has me right there–I’m thinking, sure, go ahead, play away. A do-it-yourself style trio from San Francisco, Dealership transcends its indie trappings through gorgeous melodicism and songwriting aplomb.

Here’s an innocent burst of indie-electro-something-or-another that sounds as delightful to me now as it did five-plus years ago.


“Forest” – Dealership

[ from “This Week’s Finds,” Dec. 5-11, 2004]

A certain sort of confidence is required to open a song with the line “Let’s go, and I’ll play all my songs,” but singer Chris Groves has such a sweet-sailing voice that he has me right there–I’m thinking, sure, go ahead, play away. A do-it-yourself style trio from San Francisco, Dealership transcends its indie trappings through gorgeous melodicism and songwriting aplomb. The song is propelled by the juxtaposition of a jittery/infectious guitar line against a bell-like (and inexpensive-sounding) keyboard underneath a melody that cascades on itself, like noiseless fireworks arcing pattern upon pattern. When Groves arrives at the chorus, singing, “An electronic forest, a pixelated version” and then whatever he sings next (I can’t decipher the words at that point), we are in a certain sort of pop heaven. That guitarist Miyuki Jane Pinckard adds some solid yet airy (go figure) harmonies to the proceedings only adds to the feeling of being transported somewhere quite lovely, if a little bittersweet. I like how the band doesn’t waste the last minute of the song (which is when a lot of songs go into automatic pilot): listen to the edge Groves’ voice acquires at around the 2:15 point, and then feel the band pull the energy back at around 2:30 only to kick into a punched-up sprint to the finish at 2:50 or so. It’s all pretty subtle but I tend to like subtle. “Forest” is from the CD Action/Adventure, the band’s third, released in August on Turn Records; the MP3 can be found on the band’s web site.

ADDENDUM: Founded in 1995 (wow), Dealership may, alas, no longer exist. The band’s web site shows no sign of life since 2007, and the band’s anticipated fourth album, due first in 2007 and then in 2008, seems never (yet) to have arrived. While Wikipedia has them existing to the present day, the entry itself hasn’t been updated since late ’07.

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