March 2, 2009

Meursault//The Furnace

We here at OSS (and by WE, I mean ME, because let’s face it: I’m the only one here) have been getting A LOT of mail. A LOT. That’s been cool, because it means that YOU are out there. And hearing from YOU is fun, even if it does make US wonder if a gmail account can actually explode.

I’ve been doing my best to respond personally to inquiries, notes and suggestions for sweet songs. I think it’s about time to formally acknowledge the old inbox here on the blog, so this will be the first installment of a feature not unlike L!M!F!, which I will call, boringly, Monday! Mail!. I am hoping everyone will enjoy starting and ending the week with surprises, just to keep life interesting. Like, L!M!F!, I’ll be highlighting only the highest quality tracks, so you never have to worry about downloading crap.

I love hearing new stuff and playing call-in DJ, so keep your submissions and requests coming and look for a post in Monday’s Mail: justonesweetsong at gmail.

The first M!M! is from Matthew Young of Song, by Toad, who wrote in to rep for some awesome and oft-overlooked bands from Edinburgh. One of the bands he brought to my attention was Meursault.

Meursault, which I can only assume is named for the main character from The Stranger by Camus, is a gem of a band and I’ve been genuinely enjoying listening to the somewhat unfortunately named Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues. I’m a sucker for innovation in instrumentation and the combo of banjo and electronic beat is enough to enrapture me right out of the gate. This song also has a catchy hook and an interesting take on shouty vocals, that aren’t offensive like shouty vocals can sometimes be.

The Furnace.mp3

One additional note on Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues that I couldn’t exclude is that the title track of the album is directly (and I mean DIRECTLY—no mistaking it) ripped off of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Song Against Sex.” For how interesting and original the rest of this album is, this seems like a weird choice. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but it’s very, very obvious. Consider this my note to you, guys—what’s the deal?

More about Meursault. Also, if you happen to live in the UK, these guys play out.

And the worry that you carry
Is another word for courage.


edith kate said...

awesome pick for a sweet song! meursault is amazing.

and i should point out that they do actually change the very last note from the NMH song against sex. honestly I personally can't really tell but my bf is a musician and it pains him every time i listen to pissing on bonfires/kissing with tongues, because the last note is completely different from NMH, so it feels like they messed up to him.

but yeah, i don't understand why they ripped the tune either.

g said...

hey edith,'s a little different, but obviously lifted. so lifted that like your boyfriend, it's annoying to me to listen to it. i skip the track every time.


Matthew said...

It's just a song and an album which the band love so they used the same melody and worked a completely different song around it - it's not like they hide this in any way, so it's no big secret.

Given that the two songs actually sound nothing like one another, despite the same vocal melody, this should be no more of a problem than when a band do an acoustic cover of a rock song, you'd like to think.

That's just how art has always worked. Look at the evolution of any kind of folk music, and you'll see how melodies, lyrical themes and all sorts are forever cropping up again and again in different places. No-one, not even NMH, is plucking brand new, entirely unique stuff out of the ether.

Do you remember REM's Hope and Leonard Cohen's Suzanne? Same thing happened there - it's just how the creative process works.

g said...

Hey Matthew,

Thanks for the explanation. As long as it's acknowledged, I don't see it as a problem, either.

Although to be fair, I think NMH is some of the most original music to come out of the last 10 years. You're right--nothing can be completely brand new, but if anyone was doing something totally original, it was them.


Matthew said...

Yeah, I wouldn't disagree. Although I'm amazed whenever I find myself listening to really old music and start to hear things which I didn't realise had infiltrated their way into stuff I like.

I think if we were more familiar with music going a lot further back we might see more, but there's only so much you can keep in your head at any one time.

I didn't say 'thanks for the lovely review' before, did I? What an arse.

Thanks for the lovely review ;-)

g said...

thank you for sending it my way, matthew.

lujk said...

I completely agree with Matthew. It is definitely intentional and acknowledged, they definitely do something different and new that I wouldn't call a "rip-off," and I think it works really well.