‘You listen to nothing but twee,’ said the lone voice, a long-ago kind of affair, a gig’s back room or the stereo’s front parlour, back when we affixed the framed cover of The Boy With The Arab Strap to the rustic, stripped-brick walls of our pretend loft apartments, then played early Magnetic Fields vinyl on the toy turntable we’d wired up to the amp. Because the concept of ‘twee’ carries with it a whole host of unaffirming connotations; overly quaint, limp of wrist and fey in objective, it’s an issue of lacking roughage. Apparently an Edwardian bastardisation of the word ‘sweet’, it’s a word deployed when fervent dismissal is the default reaction, an appropriation of subjective taste in lupine, insult get-up. And I don’t care; like a budgerigar I’m attracted to simple things – pretty sounds, sparkly fabrics, tunes produced by Felix Da Housecat. Hence even the marriage of ‘twee’ to the word ‘pop’ – itself something of a pejorative term – is only ever going to have a solitary implication round these parts; for even the twee-est of characteristics can still (deliciously) grab you about the hair.
These were due to be a weightier words on twee-pop, especially of the American interpretation, whose subtle differences from British varieties should be the subject of a university thesis. In this instance – today at least – the muse said ‘no’, and sent me out to buy vino instead. Below the words… well, having name-checked the Fields, it would be churlish not to insert new single ‘Andrew In Drag’ (let’s pretend that we haven’t heard it already)… although the main ‘below the words’ is by Los Angeles quartet The Oohlas, formed by Greg Eklund when he exited the more mainstream rock affectations of Everclear. Twee utterly reminiscent of another US road trip, right after the rustic, stripped-brick walls of our pretend loft apartment came tumbling down.
The Magnetic Fields / Andrew In Drag
The Oohlas / Small Parts