February 14, 2011

For Valentine’s Day, Douglas Martin gave his girlfriend a Boba Fett helmet and a subscription to High Times.

February 14th causes a lot of anguish for a great deal of people. Massive numbers of dudes scurrying to the grocery store or nervously clicking on the 1-800-FLOWERS.com order button to buy roses. Men who bemoan America’s fixation of Hallmark holidays while scouring Google for the finest available restaurant not booked to the rafters. Women who are given decadent boxes of chocolates when they’re allergic to gluten.

There’s an oft-overlooked subsection of those suffering on Valentine’s Day, one that is often undervalued via the wide network of music blogs that would rather post Andre 3000’s “Happy Valentine’s Day” for the seventh straight year. I have it on good authority that a staggering percentage of my Tumblr followers are young women stricken by pangs of loneliness from spending another Valentine’s Day alone while spending most of the day– you know, the part where there are people around– pretending not to care. I would personally and emphatically like to dedicate this post to them. For the rest of you, make yourself a cupcake and come back later.

The closest thing there is to a proto-Vivian Girls, beloved English twee-punk band Talulah Gosh made a distinct impression in a tenure that is best measured in months. Hidden behind a thick cinder block of English articulation, Amelia Fletcher and her band thrashed their way through shambolic tunes blanketed with distortion and tape hiss, leaving a small-but-endlessly-followed trail of cheap, broken instruments behind. It’s little surprise that renowned Olympia label K Records– the longtime leader of recording and releasing the work of lovably rudimentary bands– released Backwash, the band’s complete anthology, in 1996; the band probably earned a total gross of what fellow Oxford band Radiohead spends on a single deli platter.

Talulah Gosh’s debut song, “I Told You So,” encapsulates the raw energy of the band, breaking away from the starting gate with a warp-speed sprint with Fletcher’s plaintive, almost amateurish singing voice serving as a clear ancestor to Cassie Ramone’s endearingly nasal bleat. “Said that she would treat you right,” Fletcher intones, “but you know that it’s not true.” “I Told You So” falls in line with the age-old practice of pining for someone who has pushed you into the bothersome “friend zone,” offering a long hug while planting the seeds of unfaltering devotion: “Should you ever feel cheated / Then you’ll know who to trust.” If you’re eating bon-bons on the couch, watching America’s Next Top Model reruns while the one thing you want is seated in front of a wine glass full of Cabernet and wrapping a lobster bib around their neck, Amelia Fletcher feels your pain.

Turn off the television. Let the minute and forty seconds of this song cycle through about fifty times. Jump on the couch. Break a few dishes. You’ll get through it, kid. And when you get the news that the person in your life who you’re “just a friend” to calls you, dejected from being broken up with, you can say you told them so. The satisfaction of proving someone wrong lasts a lot longer than a box of Whitman’s chocolates.

MP3: Talulah Gosh-“I Told You So”

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!