Reviews:: Super Daughter Today Today Today

I recently fell in love with the What Capitalism Was record – as you can read about here. John’s quirky, Daniel Johnston-esque song writing shows those flashes of naïve brilliance that you can’t help but get into. Trying to track down more songs, I realized that he is/was part of another band, Super Daughter. Teaming up with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Rachel Summer Tupelo (of Ramona Quimby), the duo released two full-lengths and a nice EP. My favorite is Today Today Today.

The most obvious difference between the WCW sound and that of Super Daughter is the matriarchal influence Summer brings to the mix. Her voice and structure adds the accessibility and (pardon the pun) harmony that makes this project so special. On the opening track, Summer Over top of a gentle strum, Summer offers snippets of wisdom in a sweet folk voice. John’s quirky off kilter songwriting is still evident, as the track uses a delayed 1:30 outro that gradually repeats the final chord after seconds of silence, only to build it back up on the intro of Darling Child Robot. The minimal computer backbeat and dual vocals shows how well the duo works together. Laura Elizabeth Trieselman showcases the vocal interplay, and all of John’s quirks are perfectly paired with Summer’s more conventional style.

At times, their folky influences blend together like an even more lo-fi Sam Beam number (Finster or the lovely I Only Lost My Mind a Year Ago) and the duo creates beautiful music. Gwennachichi plays like a film you’d see a surfer paddling out as the sun comes up, but the horns and finger picked riff give way to some little kids talking, which seems odd, but works. It’s these sporadic streams of brilliance that make the record so appealing, but may alienate a lot of listeners. On Persimmons, Summer sings a lovely melody, but the harmony is an almost shouted effort from John and a few friends.

This makes it a good time to mention that accessibility is a relative term. By no means is this a conventional record. Dream for Winter is a tapestries of sounds, including computer effects, bells, simple guitar picks. Soil or Boat uses a singing saw, an accordion and some screaming kids to create a haunted sea shanty that becomes purposely disjointed. It’s these sporadic streams of brilliance that make the record so appealing, but may alienate a lot of listeners. Not many artists would put a well thought horn solo on a lo-fi track like Owning Up, but that’s what makes these songs stand out. Nothing seems out of the possibility for these two.

If you like what you hear, head over to CDBaby and support these two. You won’t be disappointed.
MP3:: Finster
MP3:: Such Great Heights (Postal Service cover) - live @ the twisted branch 2004

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