"Good Fight Fighting" - the Very Most
This breezy slice of summery indie pop might've glided by my ears without quite sticking were it not for the subtle but significant fork in the road the song takes during its final third: at 1:47, the music modulates, the melody turns inside out, and the lead vocal is hijacked by the female backup vocalist, Rachel Jensen. Rachel is the sister of Jeremy Jensen, the Very Most's front man, and she used to be in the band herself before she left Boise. The Very Most is based in Boise, a fact the band itself finds a bit unlikely, so imagine how the rest of us feel. (Rachel moved to the decidedly more indie-rock-like town of Portland, Oregon, where she now can be found in the band the Parenthetical Girls.)
But I digress. The point is that Rachel, taking over at 1:47, not only holds her own, but converts the entire song into a winner, especially in retrospect. Try it for yourself: once you see where the song ends up, you'll enjoy the opening half all the more. (Don't miss the way Rachel's melody veers from the previous melody of the verse, and be sure to note the whistling that accompanies her: that's the original melody.) All this is to take nothing whatever away from the three regulars in the band (who create just the right jingly ambiance), and most of all Jeremy Jensen, who is a delightful singer in his own right, spending time here demonstrating how much alike Brian Wilson and Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian) sound after all. And it is J. Jensen's inventive pop sensibility that presides over the whole, increasingly wonderful concoction: on top of all the nicely conceived production touches (the album claims to feature some 33 different instruments/sound sources), it was Jeremy, I assume, who knew enough to have Rachel step in exactly when and how she did in the first place.
"Good Fight Fighting" is a song off the band's second CD, Congratulations Forever, which was self-released in April. MP3 courtesy of the band.