January is usually a time for renewing friendships, getting together with the people you lost track of during the craziness of the holidays. I was leaning toward Willie Nelson and his superb “Across the Borderline” album from 1993. But then this comes along, a singalong-ready piece of chamber-/brit-pop that would sound amazing on the radio if the radio played this kind of stuff anymore.
What kind of stuff is that? Jesus, the influences! Bacharach, Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Chrissie Hynde, Jackie DeShannon, Aimee Mann…there is syncopated guitar, there are horns, there is the sort of great chorus so many indie pop songs build up to but then can’t fulfill. Fulfilled here! It picks up where Yola’s “Faraway Look” leaves off, which is good thing, because as much as I liked “Walk Through Fire” I wish she’d explored that Dusty sound a bit more before veering off into the country-rock.
Lyrically it’s a song about two people searching for each other, just missing, searching some more. The vocal shifts between A Girl Name Eddy (real name: Erin Moran, but not the “Joanie Loves Chachi” Erin Moran, which would have been awesome but she unfortunately is no longer with us) singing by herself and then as part of an everyone-the-studio wall of background vocals, that chorus fading away and circling back like the on-again, off-again romance she’s singing about.
Eddy/Erin lives in England now but is originally from New Jersey (hey, just like Nicole Atkins, another influence!) She made an album fifteen or so years ago with English retro crooner weirdo Richard Hawley (I’m actually a fan). Still assimilating the rest of the record but other equally good tracks include “Been Around,” “Charity Shop Window,” and the Lou Reed-ish “Finest Actor.” “Charity Shop Window” was co-written with the I’m-still-here Paul Williams of “We’ve Only Just Begun” fame.
Did I make her up? Or am I living in some NPR-radio version of “Inception”? Only time and 2020 best-of lists will tell. In the meantime, I intend to listen a lot just in case it I wake up and find it doesn’t exist anymore.