23 September 2008

"makeup artist" || marching band || 2008

Songs like this serve as reminders why college radio is the place to find the coolest music that you'll never hear anywhere else.

"Makeup Artist" is deliciously infectious, from its agreeable drumline and guitar riff to its dainty sing-along hook. There's definitely a heavy ska influence, but without the undertone of douchiness that usually comes with ska tunes.

I must admit that I feel a bit dirty liking the song, because liking it puts me on the fringe of indie hipster territory (to use a scientific term). The song is carefully crafted to be neither a ska song nor an indie rock song, instead landing safely in the middle. It's one of those tunes that's cool enough for the skater crowd and mellow enough for the singer-songwriter acoustic crowd. It sounds like a college party.

I'm glad that this is one of the prevalent sounds in college radio, because it's taking the idea of "pop" to a new dimension. When examined alongside another trend in college radio, rock music with powerful electronics (mainly drum machines and synths), I'd say that the whole lot could be grouped into a "college pop" category. This stuff is today what the Spin Doctors and 4 Non Blondes were in the '90s.


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