About a year ago the head of A&R at Merge records called me up and asked who the top five artists on the ‘most played’ list from my i-pod were. He wanted to reward me for being such a dedicated music fan by creating the most awesome, blow-your-mind, holy shit no-way, super group ever assembled. I read the names directly from my computer: Handsome Furs, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Mission of Burma, Spoon, and Bob Dylan. After much moving and shaking we have the Divine Fits. At first I was disappointed: Where the fuck are Smokey & Dylan? Mission of Burma I get – they don’t really seem like they’d be into a ‘super group’, they’re still pretty do-it-yourself. But Dylan was in the Traveling Wilburys, so we know he’s up for team play, and Smokey Robinson has been inexplicably trapped on the casino circuit for some time now. Regardless, the Divine Fits new record A Thing Called Divine Fits, set to be released August 28th, is my most anticipated release of the year.
Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) and Britt Daniel (Spoon) are collectively responsible for some of the most innovative, infectious, cool, and blistering songs in recent history. I gushed about Boeckner’s last project, Handsome Furs, and their untimely breakup in a previous post. Handsome Furs produced my favorite album of last year and were an absolute force live. Where Boeckner is rough and gutsy, Britt Daniel is refined and cool. Daniel’s songs are the marriage of pitch-perfect song craft and innovative production. Spoon records simply sound amazing. They have plenty of grit and swagger, but use space, instrumentation, and effects to turn simplicity into pop perfection. Both these guys seem to want to make a three minute masterpiece and that is what I want to hear. Boeckner has been leaning towards more synth-based electronic material lately while Spoon’s last record, although containing some bass heavy dub-style and signature pop songs, was decidedly slower and more of a grower. Together, I have a pretty strong feeling they are going to kick major ass.
Our songs today are the first two Divine Fits have released. Boeckner and Daniel each take a turn on lead vocals and their particular tastes clearly shine through. Check out this cover of The Boys Next Door’s “Shiver” from a recent Austin, TX show . Covering Nick Cave? Awesome! They are playing August 30, 2012 at The Crocodile in Seattle. Be there you dummy. Happy Friday.