UPDATE You can get the repress of Something About the Chaparral (along with a cassette version of the EP) direct from Pearl Harbor for $15 (postage paid) today only (4/30/2010.) Further information and a PayPal link is here. I’m assuming they have a limited number of these available, so don’t wait on ordering yours if you’re sure you want one. These are now sold out, but the repress of Something About the Chaparral is now officially available on the Mexican Summer website. You can order it here.
I am just going to start lurking April for all of my new music. This morning she introduced me to Pearl Harbor, an LA duo who write and perform some seriously gorgeous shimmering pop songs that make me think of the following (in no particular order): Galaxie 500, unicorns, costume jewelry, roller skates, tv shows set in imaginary high schools in California, and the opening sequence of the Less Than Zero movie. Pearl Harbor makes beautiful, lush tunes and it’s honestly difficult to stop myself from just writing things like: “lush, atmospheric, dreamy, etc.” over and over and over.
What’s especially interesting is that normally I am not interested in anything “lush, atmospheric, dreamy, etc.” In fact, normally I think that kind of stuff is boring and I take pains to avoid it (with a few rare exceptions — I guess up until now there was (aside from Galaxie 500) actually only one exception, Panda Bear’s Person Pitch.) Just yesterday Drew and I were in the car and I was talking about how much I hate soundscapes, if that gives you any idea of what I usually don’t like in a song.
Anyway, if Pearl Harbor can get me listening to the kind of stuff I normally ACTIVELY DISCUSS DISLIKING, I think it’s safe to assume that they are good at what they do.
They currently have two releases to their name: There’s a debut 12” Something About the Chaparrals on Mexican Summer (view it here). I am admittedly not sure of what’s going on with this — the first press is sold out, I’ve heard there’s a repress on turquoise vinyl (which the Mexican Summer site seems to suggest is sold out — BUT all over the internet it’s listed as having a May release date and less than 24 hours ago Pearl Harbor posted about it on Twitter in a way that suggested it should be readily available… Perhaps weirdest of all: you seem to be able to preorder it from Best Buy. I am not entirely sure what that’s all about. Maybe it’s one of those “sold out at the label, still available through distros” situations?)
There’s also the Slivers of You 7” available from Japanese mail order label Big Love (the link takes you to and English-language ordering page.) It sounds like Pearl Harbor will have a few of these to sell on their upcoming tour with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Magic Kids (you can see tour dates on their MySpace.)
The two songs I’ve uploaded with this post are “Sunburn” (the first track off the 12”) and “California Shakedown” (the b-side from the 7”.) It’s a real shame that The OC is no longer on the air, because this song would work seriously well with a California teens driving down the 101 montage. I can seriously see Summer Roberts’ hair blowing in the wind when I listen to this. “California Shakedown” is a little darker — a little more Sweet Valley High Elizabeth Wakefield remembers that time she was kidnapped and kept under the floor of a burning building. OK, maybe not that dark. It’s probably a little more Jessica Wakefield remembers that time she almost let Bruce Patman take off her bikini top and thinks to herself, “I thought I knew everything back then.” Which is, when you think about, still pretty dark.
So, there you have it. Pearl Harbor: music for girls who remember when they thought they knew everything.