‘I Give You Two Seconds To Entertain Me’ – Northern Portrait
From the Napoleon Sweetheart EP (Matinee)
There were some fine releases on the Matinee label this year, but far and away my favourite was this slice of soaring guitar driven Pop by Denmark’s Northern Portrait. Think the sound of Gene, Bradford, The Railway Children, Faith Brothers and, yes, The Smiths at their giddiest peak (or some other more contemporary group if you’re a younger person than I). Like ‘The Good Old Days’ this was one of the songs guaranteed this year to have me leaping like a loon; my heart carousing and crashing with heady abandon.
My only reservation would be that lyrically it leaves me wanting much more; it feels too typically like a hipster early twenty something earnestly decrying what he sees as the commercial corruption of an object of desire. I can imagine that, if I were a woman, I’d be really rather offended by some of the lines, and the inference that one cannot be both physically desirable and ‘true and genuine’ at the same time. And what’s ‘genuine’ anyway? As for the idea of ‘selling out’… oh, don’t get me started…
But maybe I’m being picky. Maybe if I was a young thing I wouldn’t care. Maybe people don’t really care about words anyway (I remember Malcolm Eden saying that a lot of McCarthy fans didn’t care for the words, for example, which shocked me to the core at the time).
As a sonic pleasure, it’s a treasure. Maybe that’s all that matters.