Features | Awards

The Throwing Ritter A Bone Award for Sweet Little Pop Record That Captured My Heart

By Colin McGowan | 20 December 2008

(Cloudberry; 2008)

When people ask me about cute-as-a-button Europop, I have an equally cute response: I dabble. I have had an affection for the handful of Lykke Li singles released this year, but the majority of my adorable pop music love was allocated to Garlands’ eponymous eight minute exercise in mirth. After all, it soundtracked my post-shower toweling off and hair-tousling, providing a bit of sunshine in the dawn when my busted blinds wouldn’t oblige. And that’s all it had to do. To bother parsing the elements of this thimble-sized mound of sugar would be like overanalyzing children’s literature (wait, people do that…I do that), but suffice it to say it leans heavily on positively delightful female crooning, jangly guitars that glimmer like sunlight off a lake, and a glint of distortion. It’s tranquil, but not languid; pleasant, but not innocuous; earnest, but not sickeningly so. Garlands is the exact sum of its parts: a splendidly tossed-off dress and some thrift-store heels on a pretty girl with whom I’d very much like to hold hands. Eee!