July 3 — “No Fun” by Brave Irene

Brave Irene

If you only listen to one song today, make it “No Fun” by Brave Irene (2011, from the Brave Irene EP).

Brave Irene is a twee-pop quintet from Vancouver who have been active since 2009. While it’s rumoured that they have a new album in the works, their only release is their self-titled EP, which was released last March.

The band is built around Rose Melberg, who is a native Californian and who has been active in the “cuddle-punk” scene since the early 1990s. She was the front of the brilliant Tiger Trap, the lead of Go Sailor and was half of The Softies. So if this sounds a little familiar, maybe there’s the reason.

I really like the Brave Irene EP and had it on heavy rotation here for a long time. I listed it in my “four really awesome EPs from 2011” post, In that post, I wrote:

It’s warm and gooey and fun. It’s like a bag of swedish fish, bought from the store and smuggled into the movies.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s today’s song:

Unlike Melberg’s previous bands, Brave Irene has a substantial amount of organ in their songs. They manage to pull it off without sounding overly French, though.

I think this is a perfect song for those crisp mornings when summer is giving way to autumn. You leave the windows open all day long. It’s hard to focus on anything work-related so you don’t even bother going to work. You just listen to records all day long with the windows open. Brilliant.

One of the things that I love about Brave Irene is the vocal harmonies. They’re abundant on every song.

One of the things that I really like about this song comes in the third verse (same as the first … almost)

Take what you need
Leave me enough
Enough to get by
Sometimes I try too hard
But just don’t be so hard on me
Don’t be so hard on me

I love that the second time they do that, the “you need” bit in the “take what you need” line is sung at least an octave higher, and it’s just that bit right there at 1:40. I don’t know why, but it’s really powerful.

I also love how each time they come to the “don’t be so hard on me” and the “don’t be so cruel to me”, they stretch “so cruel” and “so hard” to four syllables each in order to mimic the snare drum fill there. It’s a pretty neat touch.

You should buy a physical copy of Brave Irene from the Slumberland Records web store. Just know that Ma and Pa Slumberland are taking a holiday between this afternoon and July 11. Any order that you place won’t be processed until they get back. You can get a digital copy from eMusic, or other legal downloading places.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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