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Song of the day – 362: Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

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The singer/drummer of my beloved Monster Women just linked me to this.

Tip for aspiring taste-makers: a recommendation from a band you love is ALWAYS worth checking out. Case in point. From the opening bars of the first song ‘I Swear’ on Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside’s Facebook page – the stuttering drums, the mischievous bass, the eager guitar – it’s obvious I’m on the verge of discovering something AMAZING. The vocals are hyper, high-pitched, angry, ebullient. “What have these people done to music?” cries Sallie Ford, too worked up to give vent to her room-filling voice, as the guitars build and build. “I swear!” Immediately, I’m reminded of my London sweethearts Kitty Daisy & Lewis (just about the best damn band I saw play Brisbane last year: also the last band to get my 49-year-old feet fully dancing) and even more so the swing and poise of my total Austin sweethearts Agent Ribbons.

All way different, of course.

Damn, this is great. One of those times when everything else stops, your whole life goes on temporary hold, and you turn the volume up and UP.

“Isn’t this great?” I ask my wife, trying her damnedest to get Daniel together in time for another manic music group session.
“ISN’T THIS GREAT?” I scream.
“Yes, yes it is,” she replies patiently for the seventh time.
“Yes, it is.”

Raw, but not lo-fi or amateur. Not that either is wrong. Love their look. Don’t look like you’d expect. Love it.

Third song ‘Cage’ is where it fully kicks in for me, and I’m a full-blown believer. It’s more than I can manage not to pick up the large stuffed crocodile and start whirling round the floor with him. I’m singing along in the shower. Of course I think of Wanda Jackson, but that’s more an acknowledgment that they’ve got this sound so right, and the effortless range of Sallie Ford’s full-blown voice. Fifth track ‘Against The Law’ cements it: those instruments going into overdrive in the middle section! Everyone raises their game. And then Sallie blows them away again, start of next track, ‘Thirteen Years Old’…

Damn. An embarrassment of riches.

Bangs alive! A fully-formed group from Portland, OR with several albums to their credit that I know nothing about. I see on their webpage that they’ll be touring the US in support of Jolie Holland. I sure as fuck don’t envy Jolie, going on after this.

Damn, but it’s nice to hear someone who can sing, these long years of listening to insipid bearded white male indie boys mumble. Personality-laden. Bluesy, but not what you’re thinking. Gospel, but not what you’re thinking. Great.

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