Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Heavy

Oh, hi there. Have you been waiting here long? I'm sorry, I just stepped out for a few months on an errand or two. Here we are just like old times. You're looking good. Can I get you something to drink? Maybe it's best if we pretend there hasn't been this gap in our relationship. Okay? Then let's get started.

My wife receives daily dispatches from NPR’s “Song of the Day” in her magical internets message box, and I appreciate her unerring knack for forwarding those that she knows I’m going to like. Tonight she sent me a selection from a UK band of which I was completely unaware: The Heavy. NPR's commentator called it “dirty basement soul” and described the song “Sixteen” as “what would happen if The Black Keys covered an unheard James Brown song and for some reason Tom Waits was there.” When what you really need is some good thumping bass, give this one a spin. The accompanying video is pretty cool too.

The post aptly compares “Sixteen” to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”, saying “it takes it apart and reassembles it in a nominally different configuration. It sounds just like it, only more so.” I can certainly hear the influence of Mr. Hawkins influence. See what you think (after getting through 45 seconds of silliness):

Here is another video from The Heavy, with a tune titled , “That Kind of Man”. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m hearing the riff from Rare Earth’s “I Just Want To Celebrate” combined with a falsetto from Marvin Gaye or Sly and the Family Stone.