New Buffalo: "Recovery"


By Aaron Newell | 9 August 2005

True story*: Last year this music writer guy I know was so impressed with the New Buffalo album that he sent a copy to a friend of his that owns this record label that puts out really strong, Canadian, indie pop. Je ne name names pas here folks, because this piece has to do with business ventures and corporate veils, etc., and you never ever really want to know the real history of the pretty face behind the veil now, do you? Perv. OK so back to it: this music writer I know (we’ll call him “Chaucer”) sent the New Buffalo album to the label guy (“Branson”) and said “call me on my mobile telephone when you get that.” Branson did call Chaucer about a week later, and they spoke on the phone while Branson played Sally’s record for the very first time. Chaucer was in the middle of relaying some stupid drinking story when Branson, in his usual congenial fashion, interrupted: “Shut up, I don’t understand a word you’re saying anyway--but holy SHITE this is a good song.” The shiteing occurred at approximately 1:20 during the very first song on _Last Beautiful Day_, that being the "MP3" text highlighted-in-red, above, which is “Recovery” for those of you with scrolling problems. Chaucer responded: “O shite me if thou maye, thy goosier of flight attendantes, but thee wisheth--nay--yearneth in thy overcompensated loins to sign this balladresse to termes of engagement dost thy naught?” Branson had hung up the phone at this point, and poor Chaucer was left talking to himself, as is often the case with Chaucer. Yet indeed (as legend has it, and will never fully reveal) Branson was already on the horn to other artists and label hosers--artists who have received such lofty CMG marks as 80%, 82%, 84%, 88%, and even an 89% (!), at that--and he played “Recovery” for them. And without fail said inferred artists went “eeeeeeee” through the horn to Branson, who correctly interpreted the “eeeeeeeeee” to be the onomatopoeia of a wide grin, and all artists then simultaneously consented to remixing the New Buffalo album, for freeeeeeee, simply because they loved it so, and the possibility of gaining exposure to hot Australians appealed to them, as well. And then New Buffalo got into a bidding war with a slew of hot labels, and Arts and Crafts won out, and in the midst of it all the remix project fell into the Mists of Avalon, likely never to materialize again or heretoafter. Which is ok. Because Sally’s record drops on Arts and Crafts in two weeks, and there couldn’t possibly be a better home for her. And wow it’s gutsy to start a cute pop song with drums, but those drums are the best drums to start a cute pop song with. And when you’re hanging out with – nay, boning - one of the Avalanches, a hefty amount of ingenuity with samples is bound to osmose, and refine your already-well-honed pop craft into brilliant levels of haunty vocal dubs and perfectly-placed horns and strings and quirky bass punches. And it also doesn’t hurt that you could charm the pants off a Lego man with your voice. Happy Wednesday, everyone. * ...not _totally_ true, but pretty close.