This one also features a pleasantly fuzzy guitar sound, coupled in this case with a tune so chuggily easy-going and warmly sung that it never once sounds like something you haven’t heard before. And I mean this as a compliment, most definitely—another reason why those who seek to criticize some music for “not being new” are, to me, so off the mark. I don’t think music needs to have an agenda like that.
Goodtimes Goodtimes is the performing name for the Italian-born British singer/songwriter Franc Cinelli, who appears to have a particular affinity for the amiable but often discarded music of the ’70s. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s a sturdy bygone feeling to “Fortune Teller Song” that has something to do with Gordon Lightfoot and Jim Croce and early Billy Joel and a bunch of others who strummed and crooned across our AM radio dials back in ancient times. And yet he does so with an organic rather than commercial touch; he isn’t trying to get on the radio, and it adds a grace to the proceedings that, to my ear, makes this song all the more appealing. The simple, character-based story also seems like a throwback, and Cinelli’s buzz-filled voice—nicely offset by the female backup singers in the chorus—makes me happy for no particular reason.
“Fortune Teller Song” is from the second Goodtimes Goodtimes album, this one self-titled, and scheduled for release next month on London’s Definition Arts label. The debut, Glue, came out in 2007. Cinelli has made the MP3 available on his site for an email address, but has been kind enough to let me post it here directly.