MP3: Golden Birthday – Exposed from Infinite Leagues
Golden Birthday are first of all, a pop band. Going further in depth, they’re one concocted from equal parts Beach House and My Bloody Valentine. Now what does that tell you right off the bat? That they took the perfectionist’s complexity away from shoegaze’s pristine arrangements? That they stripped down, packaged, and re-marketed dream pop, ready for mass consumption? You’ll have no part of that, surely. Who would? I mean, what kind of self-satisfied schmuck would willingly support the bastardization of these two distinct artforms?
I am. Their Whartscape ’09 set was a double-underlined, circled, paged-folded, and sticky-noted highlight. I was found among the fluid mass of festival-goers, all of us flailing limb over limb in reaction (not to be confused with cooperation) to the sound waves, as if the music was just as involved with our movement as muscles and bones were. The brand of bass driven funk-pop they displayed live however, does not appear on their debut album, Infinite Leagues. Rather, it’s been mysteriously replaced with the dream-gaze that I spoke of previously.
What Golden Birthday have made is an album that begs to be felt. Even though few of the lyrics break away from their all-encompassing progressions, you always know what they’re trying to express. Example: “Exposed.” All words aside, I know it has something to do with love, and it’s not a cheerful anecdote either. The track shows what these Chicagoans do best, the mindless repetition of simple pop melodies, unintelligent fuzz bordering every edge. Heartfelt textures and the uncanny ability to evoke empathy. Is it good? Well, I’m 12 full listens through and I’ve never once wanted to turn this record off.