A Mad Affair is a folk trio from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They are: Valerie Wood (vocals, ukulele), Eric Smith (upright bass), and Garth Robertson (guitar, vocals). Their bio says that they met at a forest festival. I’m not even sure what a “forest festival” is, but the first thing that comes to mind is a renaissance fair. Based on their website, it looks like they’re into things like flying acrobatics, fire performers, vaudvillian theatre, and other carnival-like things. I’m guessing, then, that a “forest festival” is more like all of that stuff.
Anyway, I got something in the mailbag from these guys a couple of weeks ago, and it’s finally time to write about them. Not just because they asked me to. Not just because they’re fellow North Carolinians. Because I like them.
Most of the songs on Retro Honey Pop are coated really thickly with honey. They’re mostly love songs about being in love and all that good stuff. That’s good and well, but it’s really really thick. Too thick, in fact, for my liking. That said, the arrangements are pretty great and Wood’s singing borders on breathtaking. She uses a lot of tremolo, and while some people hate that, I don’t mind it at all.
It’s not that I’m opposed to love songs. I’ve certainly highlighted a bunch of them on here throughout this year, and there are sure to be more. It’s just that I like them to be a little darker. And that’s why I chose today’s song. This one is about the demise of a relationship, despite the protagonist’s best intentions.
“Out of My Hands” by A Mad Affair
Like I said, I kind of dig that this one is about a relationship going belly-up. But there’s still some love to give.
You put me in a trance with your lover’s dance,
but soon the curtain fell… I woke up and I was not myself.
So our romance ends. Can we still be friends?
Oh, no, that will not do…
You’ll make me pay for what was right for me
But wrong for you.
Get outta’ my heart, it’s out of my hands.
I don’t buy your brand of bad love.
Get outta my head, it’s out of my hands.
What good is love that makes you suffer?
You can tell a thousand lies,
Tell them a thousand times,
It still don’t make them true…
I really like that “thousand lies/thousand times” line and the “You’ll make me pay for what was right for me but wrong for you” line.
Retro Honey Pop is the band’s first album, which was just self-released. Apart from the 12 original love songs, there’s a very nice cover of the classic song “Tonight You Belong To Me”, which was a hit for the singing sisters Patience & Prudence in the mid 1950s. Most people, however, know it from the movie “The Jerk”. I plan on writing something about a different rendition of that song very soon.
You can buy Retro Honey Pop from the band’s website here.
My electronic and physical shipping addresses are listed in the “Mail Bag” tab. Please send me your stuff.