"Lalita" - the Love Language
Crashing, distorted pop that manages the neat trick of being harsh and cute at the same time. There's that rough-edged sound and the lo-fi vocals on the one hand, that cheery tambourine and lovable, horn-like, garage-rock guitar riff on the other. Yup, pretty cute. And the thing even swings, in an effortless, '60s-ish sort of way.
A key to its success, to me, is how relaxed a piece of work this is. It owes something, sure, to rock'n'roll of various bygone eras, but there's nothing slavish going on here, nothing emitting that straitjacketed vibe of someone trying too hard to make it sound like one particular thing or another. Meanwhile, the song is all "go away but come here": as ramshackle as the tune is, and muddy as the mix gets, the chorus cycles back each time, with its simple, sing-along melody, and wins your heart.
The Love Language is a band from Raleigh that seems to have trouble deciding how many people are in it--while acknowledged as a sort of one-man operation, emerging from the imagination and talents of one Stuart McLamb, the Love Language is identified online variously as a five-piece band and a seven-piece band, even as both of these write-ups are accompanied by a picture of--yes--six people. You'll find "Lalita" on the band's self-titled debut CD, released in February on Bladen County Records. MP3 via Bladen County. Thanks to again to Largehearted Boy for the lead.