Certain Songs #965: The Long Winters – “New Girl”

Album: When I Pretend To Fall
Year: 2003

No, you are.

The song that should have been the theme song for the FOX TV show — given that Death Cab For Cutie’s guitarist co-produced When I Pretend to Fall and their lead singer who was Zoey Deschanel’s husband at the time the TV show debuted — “New Girl” is a short, sharp, sweet power pop song chock full of great lyrics, energetic drumming and an unrelenting chorus, featuring a grinning John Roderick just asking one thing:

Be kind to the new girl
Be kind to the new girl
Be kind to the new girl
Be kind to the new girl

With a piano running out ahead of the rest of the song and the guitars clanging and chugging ever-forward, “New Girl” would be be a winner if it was just about that glorious chorus, and the hilarious “no, you are” breakdown in the middle, but for me the absolute coup de grace is delivered at the end of the second verse:

Twice, you burned your life’s work
Once to start a new life
And once just to start a fire!!

I can’t tell you how much I love that. It’s one thing, of course to blow your life up because you want to start over, but doing it again just to see the destruction is such an amazing detail. I’m torn between “who would do that?” and “why the hell not?”

“New Girl”

“New Girl” performed live in 2017

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