Regina Spektor

I can’t get that song Fidelity out of my head now.

If there’s something i like it’s sharp or eclectic pronunciation. When i was a kid i used to love people wispering in my ear because it caused my whole head to tingle being able to pick up every odd ideosyncracy in their pronunciation. I still sometimes call a number back on the phone if i hear a particularly interesting-sounding recording. It’s why i love bands like Stereolab or Feist, whose non-native diction is unexpected and pronunciation pleasing.

So in other words i really like Regina Spektor’s voice.

Oy, my sister was listening to this a few weeks ago and it took me a week to get rid of it. I had no idea what it was called or who it was by, but I kind of figured that was the song you meant when I read this post.

I’m really digging that Spektor song too. Video is worth seeking out as well.

Mr. Gene, dunno if you’re already way too familiar with them or not, but based on your enjoyment of odd diction, I’d strongly recommend you check out a recently-defunct band called Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (hell, everyone should check the Gorks out, because they were fucking great.)

Lead singer/keyboardist Euros Childs and his sister/bandmate Megan were born and raised by folk-music playing parents who happened to be the prime movers in the movement to preserve the Welsh language in their native Cardiff. As a result, their household was entirely Welsh-only growing up, and both Euros and Megan speak English in a really fucking cool trill-ish voice that sounds melodic even when they’re just asking you to fetch them another ale from the bar at Schuba’s.

The first three Gork albums are postpunk art-rock brilliance sung entirely in Welsh (my favorite song is “Y Fford Oren” which apparently means “The Orange Song”, and is totally singalongable, even without having the foggiest what the words mean; “Ychid Da” (“Good Health”) is a close second.) Later albums are all in English, with SPANISH DANCE TROUPE and HOW I LONG TO HEAR THAT SUMMER IN MY HEART the most highly recommended.

You know, I really just don’t like Spektor’s new album. I only discovered her on the back of publicity for the new album, but, due to a mix up, managed to pick up one of her earlier ones instead, Mary Ann Meets the Gravediggers and Other Stories. Totally loved it. Best album I’d heard in years.

Then I finally got around to picking up the album I had originally intended to, and it really doesn’t do anything for me. It picks up towards the end, but the first handfull of songs seem to have extracted from them many of the elements that made me love Spektor so much - such as: the inventive, anarchic switches between musical genres; the wacky assymetric song constructions; the outlandish modes of singing; the way she elicited such a full and dynamic sound from the limited instrumentation of piano and voice. Instead, the first few songs seem, to my uneducated ears, much less adventurous constructions, with the kind of production you’d expect from any number of New Jazz pop artists. It’s not actually bad, but it’s just not exceptional in the way that some of her other music is exceptional.

Good to see the mighty Gorky getting some love, though. You might like The Super Furry Animals, if you haven’t checked them out already. Asides from also being Welsh, they have a similar experimental streak to their pop-friendly indie rock. They have a greatest hits out, which is pretty good, but my favourite album is Rings Around The World.

Obligatory Regina Spektor YouTube link:

Thanks! I haven’t seen many videos lately; of those I’ve seen, I’ve enjoyed few, but that one was great. Simple, and yet powerful.