I was trying to figure which way to go with my first contribution. Like everyone else on this planet there are songs that are so deeply a part of my being, like smoke in my veins. Songs that I wear closer than clothing, swimming in a locus just above my skin. Songs that are lovers and mothers, breath and fire, bread and water. Songs that are belief and God, the Devil and damnation, a heart on the sleeve expressed so much better than with words. I had fully intended on baring the deepest recesses of my soul with this first entry and have a bit of an introductory communion ('This is my blood, this is my body, this is my music...'). Then the temptation was also there to be self-serving and start off with the new Missiles track for a bit of free promotion. However, I just closed my eyes and listened to the dominant song in my head. And I chose a song from a band that Richard introduced me to a few months ago--a song that quite simply makes me 'happy'. Very.
The song is called Hitten and it's by a Stockholm quintet called Those Dancing Days. Those Dancing Days are singer Linnea, drummer Cissi, bassist Mimmi, keyboardist Lisa, and guitarist Rebecka, and their median age appears to be about 18. (Though the name brings a Led Zepplin reference to mind that is, thankfully, the last comparison between the two.) The song itself is a solidly crafted ditty, full of all the right ingredients to make this one of those few timeless feel-good pop songs that comes around every few years or so (see also Wreckless Eric's 1978 hit (I'd Go The) Whole Wide World or Outkast's Hey Ya from 2003). All the elements are there--the jangly chord-driven guitar riffs, a rooted but gliding bass line, perfectly intuitive drums, a keyboard melody which hearkens back to the days when the Cure were still relevant, and a voice so big that it belies the singer's 17 years on this planet. This song is just three-and-a-half minutes of aural Swedish happy. And the accompanying video is just as effervescent and joyful--simple and fun, silly and wonderful.
To me one thing that makes this band so endearing and perfect is this imperfect performance that took place on Swedish television. Even though the guitar is out of tune, the bass and keyboards are a bit off, and there seems to be some giggling going on, musicianship aside, what stands out about this clip is their camaraderie:
I recently spent a week up in Tallahassee, exploring all the lovely things that town has to offer. When I was getting lost in the capitol building, wandering around the floor of the Senate, the office of the governor, taking in the 360-degree vista from the 27th floor observation deck, and dining in the employee only dining room, Hitten was the soundtrack to my misadventures and the only other thing to share the experience with me. So few songs lately can put someone in a just purely happy place, but thankfully this is one of them.
And I was happy. Very.
Those Dancing Days - Hitten