The Georgia Straight Presents
Guests Melody’s Echo Cham
When you’ve had a cult fan base for as long as The Raveonettes have, it’s only a matter of time before some of your most-loyal of acolytes begin branching out and make their own kinds of beautiful noise. In recent times, the musical DNA of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo has been cropping up with such regularity that it prompted the British music press staple NME.com to declare the Danish duo to be responsible for sparking “America’s pop renaissance.” It was a long overdue tip of the hat which drew comparisons between the Raveonettes’ melodic magic and such modern tunesmiths as The Drums, Best Coast, Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and even British bands like The Vaccines and Glasvegas.
But why take NME’s words for it? The bands themselves are only too happy to give credit where it’s due and explain why the Raveonettes have been such a prominent reference point. “They taught me a thing or two about pop music,” admits Jonathan Pierce of New York indie-pop trio the Drums. “I’ve always been drawn to bands who are driven by a strong concept and The Raveonettes have been doing it consistently, uncompromisingly and unashamedly since their very first EP ‘Whip It On’ (2002). I listened to that record religiously for two years after it came out and still find myself going back to it now. They’re the modern king and queen of melody and mood.” It’s a sentiment that’s also echoed by Dee Dee of Sub Pop starlets The Dum Dum Girls who has also been loyally following our Danish heroes from day one. “They are one of a few bands I took direct kindred inspiration from when I started writing and recording my own songs. They are a constant reminder to keep the teeth of sound intact while courting the pop hook- a recipe I follow in my own work.”
But it is perhaps the testimony of one Mr James Allan that exemplifies the Raveonettes-effect most dramatically. Back in 2004, James was jobless and aimless as he sat in Glasgow’s famous King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut venue drowning his sorrows one Friday afternoon. By coincidence, The Raveonettes happened to be playing the venue that very night and, whimsically hoping that some music would cheer him up, James spent his last bit of cash on a ticket. His money didn’t just buy him a quick pick-me-up, it bought him a new lease of life. “They were touring their ‘Chain Gang Of Love’ (2003) album- a modern day dream-pop masterpiece in my opinion,” he remembers. “I left the venue so inspired. I didn’t give a fuck about getting a job after that. It just further reinstated my longing to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band.” That band turned out to be the all-conquering Glasvegas for whom James became the talismanic frontman. Needless to say, he doesn’t spend too much time worrying about getting a job these days.