Social Studies - Wind Up Wooden Heart
Social Studies make parade music: whimsical, martial, and great for groups to stand and sing along. "Wind Up Wooden Heart" is a lush but sharp pop confection, a confident debut that is wry but never ironic. This was definitely made with love. This is music that looks back and sees only what it use to bring forward a little.
Songs like "Drag a Rake" and "Run with Fever" drip with old pop made new, new pop made to sound antique. It is on here and on "Trapdoor Spider" that the band recalls classic bands from their San Francisco home. "Charioteers" and the stunning "We Choose Our Own Adventures," with a delicate blend of thin keyboards and oom-pah, sound like Tom Waits trying his hand at a simple love song. The guitar-fuzzy "Good Book" and the haunting closer, "Battle of Shiloh," are also highlights.
"Wind Up Wooden Heart" is rich in melody and lyric inventiveness. Singer Natalia alternates between coy and Bjork, an acquired taste for some maybe, but Social Studies' effortlessly lush pop is one worth tasting. Like the band's love for vintage clothing stores and rocket ships, their music is elastic and strong enough to stretch across the scope of their influences.
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