Thursday, November 27, 2008

Listening Too Long to One Song: The School "Let it Slip"

Just as us citizens of Los Angeles were beginning to resign ourselves to a year with no winter, something magical happened. Last week the temperature dropped about 20 degrees, and it began to rain. It began to rain with an intensity that most of us seem to have forgotten could exist. The general rule that I find with Los Angelinos is that we love the rain because we see so little of it here. When it does pay us it's ever elusive visits, it washes our cars, clears away the smog, and it just seems to render our collective senses heightened. It's no wonder then that I officially fell in love with the School's song "Let it Slip" while running through a torrential downpour.

I'd had their Let it Slip E.P. in my possession for months. I'd listened to it, and even played a different song from it on my radio show, but this time the opening title track became something of an addiction. I think because every instrument shimmers, and pops and fills up every inch of space that the song inhabits. Listening to this song in the presence of a lovely grey backdrop, as water pours steadily from the sky will tend to make everything else around you seem brighter. Something as simple as a street sign coming into sharp focus as you run down a hill in search of shelter can seem impossibly beautiful. In other words, since songs that are as exuberant as this one tend to come along almost as infrequently as rain in Los Angeles, the combination of the two has the the ability to make the listener feel very, very alive. Of course the song is strong enough to give off the same life affirming effect with or without the presence of rain.

The story of the song is simple: a girl suspects that the boy she is seeing is in love with someone else, and she is imploring him to let the information slip for her own peace of mind. The music is a modern take on the Phil Spector version of the girl group sound. Though their girl group update is not filtered through, and distressed by the noisier elements of punk rock the way that of my beloved Vivian Girls, and Lichtenstein is. Theirs manages to be modern, and confidently produced in a way that could almost make you forget that the styles of punk or indie even exist, even though you are quite aware that the ideas behind those styles are tucked neatly away somewhere in the background.

However, any similarities that you might find in this song to that of any other song are completely irrelevant. It's a perfect single that is bursting with pure joy. The type of single that (were there any justice in the world) should be a giant hit, and inspire an exorbitant amount of singing very very loudly into hairbrushes all across the world. Much like the aftermath of rainfall in Los Angeles, this song will heighten every one of your senses. And don't we far too often forget how much we need for our senses to be heightened from time time?

Watch the video for "Let it Slip" here:

You can order a copy of the School's Let it Slip E.P. with a quick search here.


loosecardiff said...

WOW. My eyes are filling up while reading this - thank you so much, liz school x

Dennis said...

I adore this song. The whole EP, actually. The previous 7" was also nice, but this is a big step up.