Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Oh Land – Sun of a Gun

Shab-boobadeshoob shab ba-doob, shaboobedoob…


Katherine St Asaph: Determinedly unhateable, composed entirely of whoosh and verve, feisty backing vocals and finger-snaps. Oh Land has gulped up beyond enough hype for one to resent her, but why would anybody want to?

Ian Mathers: This is just a little bit too singsongy for me (I’m not a fan of the bassy backing vocals repeating the title, either), but mostly “Sun of a Gun” is light and lovely. I’m not sure that I’ll remember it after I submit this blurb, but if this came on the radio I’d happily hear it again.

Jer Fairall: Funny, I never thought there could be a downside to Regina Spektor becoming popular.

Erick Bieritz: In the ‘80s a figure like Kate Bush was an oddity on any radio station, and in the ‘90s Björk wasn’t even from this planet. But in the past decade-and-change, with varying critical and commercial fortunes, Imogen Heap to Goldfrapp to Róisín Murphy to the Swedish school have carved out their own highly deliberate, mannered form of vocal pop music. And it’s female artists that have defined this space. They are particularly adept at using the voice as a full-fledged instrument, concerned with tone and color, rather than just a vessel for words. In “Sun of a Gun,” the signature flourish is dark verse/bright chorus, a very different sound from the masculine quiet verse/loud chorus.

Josh Langhoff: Cute, like multitracked acapella Petra Haden is cute. Like the Vaselines, Ms. Land equates her lover with the sun, and affectionately scolds him for his inconstancy. “Son of a gun” is a good expression for affectionate scolding because it’s quaint and nobody quite knows what it means. And we’re agreed that she scolds with affection because her lover the sun keeps giving her orgasms, right?

Martin Skidmore: The title line itself sounds a bit stiff and weak, but otherwise very likeable.

Jonathan Bogart: Danish indie-pop is, unsurprisingly, not very different from Swedish indie-pop. I’m not sure what it was about this one that caught me; maybe the way her voice actually deflects meaning in a couple of places, turning into a reservoir of pure sound.

Iain Mew: The insistent wordless backing vocals, catchy at first but increasingly a bit odd, are perfect for the edgy pop here, and the drum barrages that swoop into the chorus are delicious. It still all somehow winds up a bit inconsequential though, not helped by the words being front and centre but frustratingly difficult to piece into a clear picture of what it’s about, from the title misspelling on in (“You go down down down/I fall out of love with you” – really inept oral sex?). Was still enough to persuade me to check out the (generally much better!) album, but that might be a Pavlovian reaction to the accent as much as anything.

3 Responses to “Oh Land – Sun of a Gun”

  1. The downside to Regina Spektor becoming popular is called “Laughing With,” and it’s brutally fucking awful.

  2. Eep. I actually like “Laughing With” but I gotta admit that if someone’s gonna hate on Regina Spektor, “Laughing With” is probably gonna be why.

  3. I’ve overheard this song everywhere in Madrid lately, for a minute there I thought she said ‘son of a cunt’. Thought that wasn’t very nice of her.