Saturday, February 4, 2012

Song #110 of 9999 - Flyswatter by Eels

Song #110 of 9999

Title: Flyswatter
Artist: Eels
Year: 2000
Album: Daisies of the Galaxy

So, I missed my post yesterday because I was tired and couldn't convince myself to climb two flights of steps to write some words about some song. Instead, I fell asleep in a chair and then climbed one flight of steps and went to bed. Today, I'm at a music festival (a school orchestra festival, not Coachella or whatever) so the chances of me writing were pretty slim. But, with the help of an ethernet cable (remember them?) and my trusty school laptop, I am bringing you Song #110 - Flyswatter by Eels. (I'll try to get entirely caught up with a morning and evening post tomorrow.)
There are a couple of people I know who I think I only sort of like and then when I see them I realize they're actually really cool and I wish I knew them better or spent more time with them. Eels is like that for me. I have two or three albums by the man who simply calls himself "E" and his pals who show up and record in his basement. I almost never listen to them but man are they good. The songs are moody, quirky, complex, balanced—it's no wonder he's an indie darling. Daisies of the Galaxy is particularly good at showcasing the poppy side of Eels and is certainly lighter and less depressing than his previous efforts.
"Flyswatter" is like a lost Beck track (did I mention in a previous post how much music from 2000 sounds like Beck?). E's voice is pretty nondescript as a rule but when he sings lyrics that are Beck-like ("Heat is rolling in like Hell's red rug/Stinking like the breath of Beelzebub") and writes a melody and chord progression that evoke Odelay-period Beck, he is pretty much the spitting aural image of Beck. Regardless (or maybe because of), I like this track a lot. The celesta, chimes and eerie voice are all nice touches in a song that needs a little bit of flash in the production to make up for its brevity and....incompleteness. But the hook is solid and when you have a hook this good, you finish the song and dress it up.

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