I should have grown out of indie pop. Just read Nitsuh Abebe’s description of the genre more typically referred to as “twee,” from his wonderful history of the style – “Happy pop geeks in love with all things pretty, listening to seven-inch singles released on tiny labels, writing songs about crushes, and taking a good deal of pride in the fact that everyone else found their music disgustingly cute and amateurish and girly.” Sounds pretty teenage-ish right, the type of music made by and for the kids who don’t even get screen time in a high school comedy. It is, and years removed from feeling like a total dweeb during my academic life, I should have outgrown jangly pop about crushes and sunny days. Yet I haven’t, regardless of how many times people call me “effeminate” after browsing my iTunes library.
Japan’s Lilacs In Bloom remind me why I’m so starry eyed over the genre. Like most indie pop, this Tokyo band don’t set the musical world on fire one bit – they play sunny little melodies complete with mumbly vocals and some horns thrown in for good measure. It’s simple, it’s a bit crude and I can’t close the tab open to the bands MySpace. It’s all a hand drawn cat away from being too much. The sound is definitely familiar…skippy, sunny guitars and awkward singing coming together with horns and organ in a way that sounds like nearly anything off Sarah Records. It’s perfectly twee and, if these type of admittedly wussy tunes appeal to you, Lilacs In Bloom will find a very happy place between The La’s and The Lucksmiths.
Let’s end with one more quote, this one from Olav Bjortomt’s look back at If You’re Feeling Sinister – “And I acknowledge the fact I love wussy songs about boys feeling sad and bad about the opposite sex. If you don’t like that, as Ed Hamell would say: Go fuck yourself.”