Monday, September 13, 2010

Tiger Hook of a Tender Trap

When I woke on Monday, I was too happy to see
By and large, I don’t get obsessed with individual songs all that often. There have been a few this year – Spare Snare’s ‘And Now It Is Over’, The Nectarine No. 9’s ‘Susan Identifier’ – but it still feels like An Event when it happens.
And then on Tuesday there were doves flying round me
Which is exactly as it should be, of course. A song which is not also An Event is not really a song at all.
On the Wednesday, chapter third
It was bad timing, perhaps, that when I belatedly caught up with the amazing back catalogue of Amelia Fletcher a few years ago, her current record was Tender Trap’s 6 Billion People, as unmemorable a piece of plastic as she has put her name to.
On the Thursday, all alone
This time though, it’s different. In ‘Counting the Hours’, she is amazing once more, gloriously teetering on the brink of love or more likely heartbreak, because the highs of wishing are worth any comedown, the not knowing an infinite warmth inevitably and quickly cooled by dread and then disappointment. The melody spirals upwards on rails, following its own logic, underpinned by two chords so ordinary you wouldn’t have thought they could support its urgent luminosity. And unlike, say, Tracyanne Cambell on similar territory, with Amelia it is the happiness which lingers. How does she do it?
On the Friday I just sat, counting the hours

Tender Trap’s Dansette Dansette, which has plenty of other delights besides ‘Counting the Hours’, is out on Fortuna Pop!


Anne said...

Oh yeah I love that album too, even though that particular song didn't strike me as much as you. I was kind of obsessed by the backing vocals of 'Suddenly' because they reminded me of something. I'm pretty sure now it's a Denim song.

Chris said...

I can't think which one, but I can sort of see what you mean. What I'd like to know is which melody she stole from her young daughter - she admitted to doing this on that bizarre radio interview with Alan Johnson, but didn't specify the song.

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