Album: They Might Be Giants
. . .
While Johns Linnell and Flansburgh started writing songs in high school in Lincoln, Massachusetts the late 1970s, they didn’t form They Might Be Giants until they both moved to Brooklyn in the early 1980s, formally adopting the name under which they’re still recording in 2023.
Prior to actually getting a record contract, they gained their earliest notoriety by recording their songs onto an answering machine — a mechanical device that hooked up into your phone line and allowed you to ask people to leave you a message instead of texting you, Zoomers — and placing an ad for their “Dial-a-Song” service, which, along with a demo, led to their self-titled 1986 debut, which immediately established their take on pop music: every possible style of music, sometimes all at once, with funny-sad lyrics, sung with exuberance and chock-full of hooks galore.