The Popovers - Make It So!

The Popovers, like Pomplamoose and my dear, talented friend Harper Phillips, are evidence that the internet can be used for good, namely as a swift distribution method for exceptional music and artistic achievement. I first heard of the Popovers through Dan Savage's Savage Lovecast, where the band wrote his catchy-as-hell theme song and lead-out music. From that tidbit, and it is an extremely minor one that demonstrates the band's pop sensibilities and vocal strength, I felt beyond compelled to see what else they had done. And there, in the wilds of the internet I discovered their newly released, for free but requesting donation, album Make It So! And through now three listens this very afternoon, I have come to the conclusion that the Popovers are one of the most talented and dynamic unsigned bands currently populating the internet. Make It So! features such exciting and inventive song writing, all still nested in the ideals of pop creation, that each track feels fresh, alive and party ready. What's more, Tim LaFollette and Catie Braly, offer frank, witty and smart lyrics that poke fun at relationships, pop music and life, all while maintaining a sense of style and dignity that prevents them from becoming a "parody band."

The Popovers possess the ability to turn simple concepts into opuses of emotion. "Yoga In The Morning" is playful and energetic, a plea to stay the night on one hand, but also a well done, not-too-cute barb at yoga as the en vogue exercise. A mix of guitars and sweet harmonies keep the song rushing along beautifully. And then on "Desk Chairs," the progression and vocals paint a sad, but spirited look at life, as we do simple things in the midst of a chaotic world. "The Worst In You" is a brilliant piece of call-and-response that concisely sums up the feeling we get from some failed relationships. Even as we love the other person, we acknowledge that our mixed lives create a sort of emotional miasma. And on the electronic, throbbing "I Desire" we are treated to visions of romantic devotion mingled with a desire for control. Love is this dangerous, complex thing and on this track particularly the Popovers show the insight to juxtapose a robotic musical style with the truth that our desires and hearts cannot be contained or ruled by laws.

The band's influences seem to range from Ben Folds to Badly Drawn Boy to Built To Spill to a handful of other pop guitar outfits whose names start with any of the other 25 letters of the alphabet. And really the influences don't matter quite as much as the execution and the Popovers continuously present excellent songs that have compelling and interesting hooks. The album is comprised of tracks recorded over 5 years, from 2004 - 2009, and if these songs are the cream of the crop, then the B-sides must be pretty fucking insanely great too. If you want to listen to something heartfelt, uplifting, thoughtful and intelligent, check the Popovers out. And if you're not sure you want to download the whole album, consider streaming it from their site too. Or their MySpace page. You'll be glad you did. It's feel good music, sometimes about things that don't feel good, but then, that's the way the world works sometimes.

Once again, you can download and contribute for the album at the Popovers' website here.

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