Art-pop hopefuls issue another rough gem
“Oh my god, my life is so fucked up,” Elia Einhorn emotes in the most overwrought fashion possible on the otherwise lightly swinging “Something’s Happening,” delivering the clincher for both laughs and blood: “I’m supposed to go out with Alie to a midnight movie at the Music Box / Maybe we’ll see That Sinking Feeling, maybe we’ll see A Clockwork Orange.”
It’s this tension between dystopia and depression, situation comedy and ultraviolence, that makes Scotland Yard Gospel Choir more than your average Belle & Sebastian lite. Einhorn writes ditties about women who “kicked the shit out of my heart,” failed suicide attempts, emotionally empty one-night stands, the possibility of a godless existence and other end-of-this-world tidbits left behind like so many existential breadcrumbs on life’s gravel path.
And yet, despite this none-more-bleak worldview, it all comes across like Morrissey circa The Queen is Dead, played for self-skewering yuks like the darkest moments of a tragic standup comedian, moments before the accidental OD. Imagine the Mekons covering “Girlfriend in a Coma” and you’ve got a fairly good idea of what SYGC is going for on this record.