garçon garçon: “save our souls”

Australian duo Garçon Garçon appear before the lens of photographer Elvis di Fazio, as they prepare to release their debut project EP.

“You left without leaving. Your ghost is still here. Don’t let go.”

This line from Australian duo Garçon Garçon‘s “Save Our Souls”, at the risk of sounding corny, has an exceptionally haunting effect. Part of it is the context. The song was written about a friend of lead vocalist Nathan Mahon, who took his life in late 2011. I was admittedly a bit hesitant to tackle the track from a writer’s perspective, given the sensitive (and extremely personal) subject matter. So without further ado, I’ll step aside and let the man himself do the talking.

“I wanted to write something beautiful as a tribute to him,” Mahon told ITMS. “When we were searching for the last few tracks to go on the EP, this just came together very quickly. Even though it’s a sad song lyrically, it also has a very optimistic, positive message as well. No matter how bad things may seem today, tomorrow can always be better.”

The word “better” jumped out at me immediately. Given all the national attention paid to LGBT suicides and the now-controversial* It Gets Better campaign, I couldn’t resist asking the pair how they’d feel about the song’s relationship to this particular movement. Group member Nick Tsirimokos responded:

“I think it would make a beautiful link to the It Gets Better project. We would do anything to promote an anti-bullying message. I was horribly bullied at school! I guess it will be up to the individual to interpret how they feel about the song when they listen to it. I like to leave it open for people to make up their own minds.”

That is, of course, if people aren’t too busy bawling on the dance floor to make up their mind! Nick’s production on this track is classic Garçon Garçon. Sure, this may seem odd to say about a band in their infancy that hasn’t even released their first project, but it continues the duo’s trend of crafting electro-pop with pure, unadulterated soul.

According to Tsirimokos, “Save Our Souls” was literally written in one day, followed by a whole year of injecting it with copious amounts of love and care. It had originally started out as a slow brass arrangement, eventually evolving in its mood to something brighter and more optimistic.

“I love Nick’s production on this,” Mahon added. “It’s sensitive and beautiful but also uplifting. Wherever my friend is now, I hope he loves it as much as I do.”

Amen to that! It’s The Money Shot is proud to offer up this exclusive preview of “Save Our Souls”, which will appear on Garçon Garçon’s debut EP. While this clip is undoubtedly stunning, I assure you that it doesn’t do justice to the way the song builds and gets under your skin (in the best way possible). Seriously! Be sure to pick up a copy of EP when it’s released on February 14th. It’ll be worth it for this track alone.

PHOTO CREDIT: Elvis di Fazio

* A powerful way to help end the epidemic of suicides is to support organizations which empower and develop young LGBTQ people to become leaders, so they can “make it better” themselves. This has been brought to my attention since my partner began working for BAGLY (Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth). I encourage you to check out the work they’re doing to support queer youth by visiting their website or following them on Facebook and Twitter.

rochelle jordan

Rochelle Jordan - _Shot
Rochelle Jordan - King A (Aaliyah Tribute)

I’m not gonna lie. It feels kind of tacky to post an Aaliyah cover on the late singer’s birthday (and Martin Luther King Jr. Day to boot). Yet, if you’d believe it or not, I had planned on writing about Rochelle Jordan before I discovered the existence of her “King A” tribute. Afterwards, it just seemed silly to not include it in this entry.

“King A” works because there’s already such a blatant Aaliyah influence in Rochelle’s work. She’s serving up lo-fi “PBR&B” driven by big aspirations (think the female equivalent of The Weeknd) laced with vocals that simultaneously recall Ameriie‘s fire and Cassie‘s ice-cold delivery (if that makes any sense, and it will once you hear her).

Basically? If you’re still sleeping on Ms. Jordan, you need to wake the hell up and get with the program. Basically. There really isn’t much more to say beyond that.

(new) cheerleader

Cheerleader - Do What You Want

Approximately six or seven years ago, my friend and I got into an argument over which version of MGMT‘s “Kids” was superior. My ears were trained to prefer the “Afterschool Dance Megamix”, a six-minute masterpiece that provided the soundtrack for many drunken nights at Wesleyan University. However, he preferred the version on the Time To Pretend EP, citing that it sounded like the band were “going places”.

So what does this story have to do with Cheerleader, you ask? It’s pretty simple! “Do What You Want” is the sound of Cheerleader going places. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I turned on WFNX tomorrow and heard this tune pumping through the airwaves alongside Arcade Fire and Two Door Cinema Club.

It’s not just the whistling. Though it certainly helps that everyone from The Black Keys to Britney Spears have used the technique to achieve hits, it should be noted that this isn’t always a surefire way to procure a radio smash. See Khia‘s criminally underrated, NSFW affair “Whistle On It” for further evidence on this point.

“Do What You Want” is a legitimately well-written song. It transcends beyond the Hartford duo’s previous offerings (“New Daze” and “Dreamer”) whilst still remaining true to their style. I hate to be one of those bloggers, but look out for these guys. Expect big things in 2012! Don’t be surprised if you see them playing at the apocalypse! And don’t be surprised when God raptures them out of spite, just so the sinners don’t have any good music in hell…