Driven by Janet Wygal’s bass rumbling around her brother Doug’s insistent, tom-filled drum beat, and peppered throughout by backwards guitar, “Walk By Your House” is one of the most sympathetic songs ever written about stalking someone.
Which sounds horrific on paper, I know, and yet, maybe because of the male-female trading off of vocals, and the overall melancholy mood “Walk By Your House” sets, it doesn’t come across that way.
One of the questions we are constantly debating at the Certain Songs Home Office is this: what do we do when an album only has a couple of great songs? Do I do them both, or do I only do one, because I don’t want to mislead people on how great the album is?
I realize that it’s called “Certain Songs” and not “Certain Albums” for a reason, but it’s also reasonable to believe that if I do a bunch of songs from a specific album, I’m also tacitly endorsing the album. Especially since I’m usually overtly endorsing the album in the posts.
This is not the case with The Individuals album, Fields, which has two all-time classic songs surrounded by a bunch of not-quite-there material.
Album: People Get Ready
A top-twenty single for the Impressions and an almost instant standard, The Impressions “People Get Ready” is on the shortlist of Prettiest Songs Ever Recorded, Soul Division.
Written by Curtis Mayfield, “People Get Ready” is slow and stately, stopping and starting seemingly at will, powered mostly by Mayfield’s guitar, which spends much of the song walking down the street, looking for other believers.
On the shortlist of Prettiest Song Ever Recorded, Indie Pop division, “Pig Latin” is one of a few excellent songs on Imperial Teen’s amazing 1996 debut, Seasick.
Founded by Faith No More’s keyboardist, Roddy Bottum, along with Will Schwartz, Jone Stebbens and Lynn Perko, Imperial Teen’s half-boy, half-girl, half-gay, half-straight multi-instrumentalist lineup resulted in music that was utterly unique.
“Hey,” Kirk said to me earlier this year, “did you know that Courtney Barnett was in a band for awhile?”
“I did not.”
“Here, let me play them for you.
And that’s how I discovered the amazingly dreamy and utterly gorgeous songs of Immigrant Union.