Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Brad Kopplin, Recorded at Breakglass Studio in Montreal, Canada in October 2010, during the Pop Montreal festival
Brad Oberhofer, the lead singer and songwriter for the Brooklyn-based band Oberhofer, is still at an age when the very abject and phantom-like thought of finding that girl of your dreams and settling down with them, in a quaint cottage is an idea that is held dear and isn't some blight on the soul, or a running gag about the ball and chain and screwing up the game and relegating oneself to only having sex with one person for the rest of their lives. Oberhofer might not be thinking about marriage all the time, per se, but in a day and age when more and more people are just hooking up, moving from one warm place to another, choosing to have babies without the thought of a guilt-inspired wedding, and Time magazine writing a big cover story about the lessening consideration or importance of marriage in the modern age, but he is young enough to love the theory of monogamy and being just with that one heavenly girl that you just can't get out of your head. Even if he doesn't necessarily mean to want it, what he sings about in these four unreleased songs is getting stung by the love bug and having no power over where his mind and green heart take him. It's as if he's singing about wanting a quiet home life, the day jobs that bring both he and his lovely back home to each other every night, once the whistle blows. They cook each other dinners, sit with each other while eating, gaze into each other's eyes and hold hands whenever possible. The songs that he writes aren't mushy or sappy, but the kinds of romantic ideas - those thoughts of love and fidelity, being true to that one person that you hope to never live without - that are formulated when we begin to find ourselves attracted to other people and have no means of putting any of it into a context that could rationalize what will come next. There's no need to think of another girl, for there she is, the one that, if she would just give you half a chance, even at the age of eighteen or nineteen, she'd find that you were meant for each other and everything would turn up roses. Oberhofer sings on "House," "I wanna build a house with you so we can be alone," and a song earlier, on "Gold" implores a girl to follow him, to come with him because she shines like said gold. It's as if the sentiments that the 19-year-old is expressing are those rooted in the basic plotlines of love and attraction, along with the naivety of someone who only has a faint recollection of what a broken heart feels like. They are sentiments as simple as this one: I like you. You like me. Let's just be together. It will all work out. How could it not work out for us? The music that Oberhofer makes to support these theories of love's resiliency is that of hurdy gurdy, shambolic indie rock in the vein of a Tokyo Police Club or a Born Ruffians, jumpy and intelligent at the same time. It's a feeling of living right now and needing to tap into feelings as they are right now. It's a message that this is the girl, this is the love that I want right now and we'll see what happens when we get alone in that house that we bought. We'll see what happens when everything gets a little less shiny.