The Roches: Hammond Song
The Roches’ second album was Nerds; in it, they tried to stretch out, and explore their rock side. If that had been the first thing I heard from them, I might have left the matter there. Nerds has a few good moments, but not enough to stay with them.
But I got on board with their self-titled debut. This is a mostly acoustic album. Producer Robert Fripp adds what he calls “fripperies” to some tracks, but the focus is on the songwriting and the Roche sisters’ wonderful vocal harmonies. Hammond Song is a perfect example. The song depicts a free-spirited woman who is going to Hammond to be with her boyfriend, despite the serious misgivings of her family. This is a standard set-up for numerous pop songs. But Hammond Song is unusual, because it presents the point of view of the disapproving family. The vocal harmonies feature chords that barely resolve, beautifully reflecting the emotional tension of the situation.
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