Friday, November 18, 2016
Listen: Landlady - "Nina"/"Solid Brass"
A couple weeks back Brooklyn based quintet Landlady announced The World Is A Loud Place, their newest collection of jams out early next year and solidified the announcement with not one but two cuts from the upcoming album. Turns out releasing songs in pairs wasn't just a one-off decision as we once again get a twofer in the form of "Nina" and "Solid Brass". Much like "Electric Abdomen" and "Driving In California", the juxtaposition of the two songs makes them all the more enjoyable. The fact that "Nina" and "Driving In California" come one after another is another piece of the puzzle of how the album might proceed but if I've learned anything from the quartet it's to expect only the unexpected. The fivesome are a wildly inventive collective and Adam Schatz's gift of pulling inspiration from anywhere and everything means the songs can be about pretty much anything and are all the better for it.
"Nina" is not the sort of song that gives up its secrets easily. And that's OK. It's enjoyable regardless of your ability to piece together Schatz references. Landlady have never been the type of band to retreat into mysteries and they don't do so here. "Nina won't you let me be a servant to your every word"/"Nina won't you let you be a servant to your every breath" are Schatz's only mentions of the eponymous vixen and your interest in deciphering her importance has a lot to do with how Landlady play with form on the track. After an establishing main theme of the chorus, the band shifts to a sparse cantering section filled with climbing guitar figured and alternates between the two before finally giving way to a completely new third section. Schatz's love songs have never been explicitly just that but "Nina" is handled with sort of reverence and the sense of storytelling that comes through at not just a lyrical but at a band level ensure that its sense of admiration is handled thrillingly.
"Solid Brass" forms a sort of counterpoint to "Nina" both in form and vision. The love in "Nina" in a galvanizing one based in respect in adulation and "Solid Brass" handles it's subject with a sense of fun and delightful subtlety like that of an inside joke. The choruses metamorphose; changing words but not melody eventually becoming an amalgam of all its form and connecting the ideas into one phrase accompanied by the cathartic entrance of a choir of voices and a modulation. "You won't be sorry that you met me/I talk too much but rest assured you'll hear it lower in the morning". There's a lot happening to make such a moment satisfying but the self-referential, repetitive nature of the chorus unfurling into a sensible distillation of the song's ideas is an impressive feat of lyrical sleight of hand.
Landlady's third full length album The World Is A Loud Place is out January 20th on Hometapes.