Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 24th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
"He wasn't just the drummer/he was the singer's younger brother," Finn sings. "I still spin the single/but it don't sound that simple anymore."
The drummer in question is Mathew Fletcher, the younger brother of lead singer and guitarist Amelia Fletcher. In 1996, Mathew committed suicide, leading to Heavenly's dissolution. Amelia and several of her bandmates continued making music, first as Marine Research, which released one album in 1999, and more recently as Tender Trap, a quintet that drops its third album, 'Dansette Dansette,' June 22 on Slumberland.
"It's quite moving, actually," Fletcher tells Spinner, discussing the Hold Steady track. "I had heard of [the band], but I don't think I'd actually heard them. I know lots of people that really like them, and I don't know why I didn't know them. And then they told me about the song, so I went and watched it on YouTube and I really liked it."
"It's interesting, because I've written lots and lots of songs about my brother, but always in a nonspecific way," she adds. "It's probably quite hard to decipher what they're about or who they're about."
Indeed, Tender Trap, like Marine Research, Heavenly and Talulah Gosh, the influential group Fletcher fronted in the '80s, specialize in what, on the surface, at least, seems to be chipper, innocent music. Even when the frontwoman and Oxford-educated economist is singing about unhappy topics, she pairs her words with sprightly drums, Ronettes melodies and jangly and/or fuzzy guitars.
Those sounds, hallmarks of Britain's 'C86' sound, named for a mixtape issued by the British rock rag NME in 1986, have become fashionable in recent years, thanks to such young American bands as the Vivian Girls and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This week, Tender Trap plays its first US shows in six years, performing Friday at the NYC Popfest and Saturday in Philadelphia.
Fletcher says Finn's heart-on-his-sleeve songwriting style has caused her to reevaluate her lack of emotional directness.
"Listening to the Hold Steady, I realized I've probably been a bit silly, because it's probably more meaningful if you're straight out about it," she says.