"Somebody Tried to Steal My Car" - Super700
This one is sleek, smoky, and melodramatic in a way that it's not possible to be if you don't have a stage full of people in the band. Nothing against trios--because I love trios--but there's something that sheer size brings to musical ambiance. Things simmer into existence in a large-ensemble crucible that otherwise wouldn't materialize.
It's also difficult to be this sleek, smoky, and melodramatic, I should note, without a sleek, smoky, melodramatic lead vocalist, and Ibadet Ramadani scores high on all counts, and then some. Above everything else her voice gives the song its power because there's something darker and untamed lurking just below her enticing, sugary tone. Ramadani's two backing singers are her sisters, which adds uncommon resonance to the vocals, especially during the recurring wordless melody we hear first during the introduction (which features, by the way, wonderful melodic movement and hinges on an unusual ninth interval). Lyrically, the song unfolds with dream-like leaps in narrative, while Ramadani's poise and power gives lines like "Although I was raised by wolves/I want to be a tiger" their bite, as it were, and turns the chorus's follow-up refrain ("And if I was a tiger/What would you be?") into a resonant mystery. (Okay, should be "were," but oh well.)
Super700 are based in Berlin. "Somebody Tried to Steal My Car" is a song off the band's second CD, Lovebites, produced by Rob Kirwan (who has worked with U2, Elastica, and New Order, among many others) and released at the end of February on the German label Motor Music.