I discovered The Apples in Stereo in 2007 through the magic of the South by Southwest annual Showcasing Artists song collection. For those not in the know, every year, the SXSW Music (and now Film and Interactive) Festival releases a giant Bittorrent file containing one song from each of hundreds of bands. Gigabytes of fresh music, gratis for free, costing zip zilch zero nada. Heaven!
Of course there’s a ton of stuff I will never listen more than once (and some I never even get to at all), but every once in a while, I find something like a nugget of pure gold in a pan full of silt. The track in the video above – Can You Feel It? – was not one of those nuggets, but this one was:
I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it, and I went out and dug up whatever information I could find about the band. That led me to their album New Magnetic Wonder, which in turn introduced me to the track at the top of this post. That summer, I think I played these two songs as loud as possible every time I got in my car, singing (or screeching, as the case may be) along with Robert Schneider’s way-out-of-my-register voice to the point where my throat hurt.
These two songs are incredibly simple – musically, lyrically, thematically – to the point where they have both been used to sell things to people. (I know Energy was used in a Pepsi commercial, and I swear I once heard a local Chicago radio station playing Can You Feel It? in a Cubs game promo.) And you know what? I don’t care. Some people take great umbrage when a song they like winds up in an ad. The band “sold out, man.” I say fuck that noise. If a song I love, from a band I love, gets exposed to a million new ears because somebody somewhere thinks it will part people from their hard-earned cash, that’s a Good Thing. These songs makeme happy, why shouldn’t they make more people happy?
So, yeah, pop anthems with fuzzed-up guitar, high-pitched vocals. Perfect summertime, top-down, highway shout-alongs. Damn right they make me happy.
How about you?