erasing clouds

Let's Whisper, The Shortest Days

review by dave heaton

The “California Girls” that opens Let’s Whisper’s debut album isn’t the Beach Boys track. Nor is it the Katy Perry song, thanks goodness. No, it’s a more melancholy affair, but sweet – more a crush note to a particular person, someone with “the power to light up any room”. The wistfulness in the song is in the lyrics (“can you smell the flowers in the air? / where are you going?”), but at least as much so in the melody, introduced well by a lonely guitar; in the sound of guitars against a drum machine; and in the voices, that of Dana Kaplan and, in harmony behind her, Colin Clary.

The two, both of the Smittens, are Let’s Whisper. Their music has the cheerful pop sense of their other band but also a whispery quality, like they’re forever sharing secrets. The love song “Jackpot” begins in a representative way: “I could have said this long ago.” There’s a lonely, introspective singer-songwriter album in here and a playful, Beach Boys-loving, Beat Happening-eque pop album; the crossroads between the two is where they dwell.

”California Girls” introduced the four-song EP they released last year, too. The album feels like an expansion of the tone of that EP: a lot of gentle harmonizing about love, loneliness, the weather and the passing of time. A desire to get away from it all, a fascination with other people, the presence of someone who’s long absent, the way we compress and lengthen time in our heads, the comfort of true love, the awkwardness of saying goodbye. A heart drawn on a mirror, a blanket for cold arms, the ticking of a clock, words that come out wrong, words that once heard will never be forgotten, a sigh of relief. Lots of do-do-dos, ah-a-ahs, ba-ba-bas. The forecast calls for snow, but there’s warmth inside.

{”California Girls” mp3}


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