I have tried to follow the Modern Skirts since I left Athens, GA in 2004. I had enjoyed the Skirts’ debut album, 2005’s Catalogue of Generous Men, though the band still sounded young and only laying the foundation for something much more. So, I was relieved when I learned from the first comment of this post that despite All-Music Guide making me think I had missed this release by a year (it indicates January 20, 2008), this album was released on Inauguration Day, 2009. Thanks to being prominently displayed in my recent trip to Denver’s stellar indie music emporium, Twist & Shout Records, I had only missed it by a few weeks. I picked it up, and boy and I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine it not being in my Top 10 at year’s end.
All of Us in Our Night straddles the line between 60s and 70s styled-pop that is nearly Top 40 in its effervescent sunny tunes–if not for its use of occasionally off-kilter notes and unique instrumentation. Today was sunny and in the mid 60s in Denver, and as I was heading down Colfax after lunch, I had a huge smile on my face listening to the triumphant “Radio Breaks,” with it piano-driven pop sheen mixed with clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. The next track, “Yugo,” I thought must not be as good, yet it managed to be equally sublime. When a chorus can feature the lines “I’ve known so many girls that just tear my heart in two/they only remind me of you” and yet inspire sing-along smiling fondness–it’s too catchy for me not to blog. “Motocade,” features the production of R.E.M’.’s Mike Mills and, of course, no production by Mills would be complete without his trademark backing vocals.
I hope this self-released album finds its audience, because there is certainly one out there for pop this perfectly crafted. I won’t allow a typo to make me even think I missed the next release though. At least I can write with certainty, no matter the temperature outside, spring has come a little early to Denver.
Modern Skirts, “Radio Breaks”
Modern Skirts, “Yugo”
Modern Skirts, “Motocade”