Music elicits all kinds of reactions in people. I’m no different. I have done all of the following when hearing a song for the first time: rolled my eyes, cringed, giggled, grimaced, tapped my toes, covered my ears, shouted “Yes!” When I heard the two songs we’re sharing today from Heartichoke, I simply smiled from ear to ear. That’s because this experimental folk-pop group from Chicago make music that is honest, refreshing and, most importantly, unique.
“Sleeping In” is 2 minutes and 45 seconds of adorable. The piano hook that begins things sucks you in right away, and then we get the bouncy, jaunty melody. And then in come the lyrics about feeling content just sleeping late with the one you love. Talking about the things that scare you about that love. Living in the moment, disregarding anything but the present. And there’s snaps and a killer little guitar riff and then… the song’s over. And that’s when I realized: I need to listen to this song again. And I did. Over and over and over.
And then there’s the perfectly mingled male-female harmonies of “Before You.” There’s the song’s horns (I think) and and occasional ocean-wave-like percussion and jingling guitars. And lines like these, sung in strained-but-capable croon by frontman Thomas Fricilone: Tell me, why are you so interesting? Women like you don’t talk to me. I’m just a boy, awkward and young. You, you’re like a goddess. Kiss me. Kiss me where it really hurts. Bruise me where I’ve never been bruised. And I’m slayed.
The band’s album Litost was just released on the group’s bandcamp page. It’s free. Just listen and try not to be even a little charmed.