Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Posts Tagged ‘Tomboyfriend

Favorite Song Of 2012

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Some of you might pish-posh at the idea of anything ‘best of the year before’ that comes after the stroke of midnight on 1/1. Too bad. I’m as big a fan of letting the past go as the next gal, but I think the rules clearly dictate that you can dwell on auld lang syne for the entire month of January (resolution making or sharing for the upcoming year, meanwhile, is allowed through February). Which brings us to: My favorite song of 2012.

This was originally going to be five favorite songs of 2012, but narrowing down to five + ordering within the five seemed difficult. But choosing my top number one absolute hands down favorite? No problem: “Alexander McQueen,” by Canadian band Tomboyfriend.

[Listen/download here]

It’s from the band’s King of the Animals EP, which is all around awesome –though brief; just five songs. Do also give “Margaux” a listen; it’s like Counting Crows at their best and least hack-y (which may seem like a strange comparison but I spent a good part of the mid-90s and early 2000s praying for Adam Duritz to marry me, so it’s meant as a compliment).

“Alexander McQueen” is, in fact, about designer Alexander McQueen, who killed himself in 2010. It’s heartbreaking. It’s gorgeous. And, like most Tomboyfriend songs, it’s epic in a way that doesn’t feel (to me, at least) overwrought.

QM_Tomboyfriend

Maybe it’s hard not to make epic-sounding music when you’ve got 10 people in your band — the group definitely conjures a New Pornographers/Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes dynamic — but it’s also thanks to songwriter and lead singer Ryan Kamstra, who has been described as a queerer, more glam Meatloaf. It’s become something of a mission of mine to introduce Tomboyfriend to as many people as I can (like with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone in a previous life), because you will love them. And I like sharing things that people will love. And I like sharing things that deserve more love.

So just in case you missed it above: Alexander McQueen mp3.

I’ll leave you with this description of the band from The Little Red Umbrella:

Tomboyfriend’s music is a glammy echo of the best of the ’70s, of the New York Dolls, the Velvet Underground, the B-52’s, and pretty much everything that ever happened in the heroin-addled artsy heyday of Max’s Kansas City and CBGB & OMFUG. Their lyrics are dense and poetic and playful, littered with the half-digested remains of a pop culture diet, the kind of literary collage of references and re-appropriation that will take a listener years to unpack, but brings titans like Nick Cave and Dan Bejar immediately to mind.

And the video for “Almost/Always,” from the band’s 2010 album Don’t Go To School:

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Written by Elizabeth

January 13, 2013 at 10:33 am