Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Summer lovin', had me a blast

Aberfeldy took their name from a holiday resort set in the Perthshire Highlands. A tiny hamlet where vacationing folks take part in activities like walking the Birks of Aberfeldy, popping by the Aberfeldy Watermill, and downing spirits at the tantalizingly sounding Dewar's World of Whisky. A town where Maw and Dad recharge the batteries, while the lads and lasses dabble in what every other teenager dabbles in during summer respite: puppy love.

On the Young Forever track, "Summer's Gone," this Edinburgh act deftly captures -- both in its simple lyrics and mish-mash of musical styles -- those exhilarating, awkward, and indelible moments of a summer crush.

"I could hang around," Riley Briggs sings, himself a sometimes visitor to his granddad's caravan park in Aberfeldy as a child. "'Till the leaves are brown/And the summer's gone." There's a touch of apprehension in his words, for he knows the rules involved. These infatuations always end once vacation does. Still, he won't surrender the bird to autumn just yet. "But I won't give up," Briggs continues, "and I won't give in."

Of course, he ultimately does. Bags are packed, car filled with petrol, sad goodbyes issued. And what remains is little more than sunshine-drenched memories and a lingering affection that will dissipate by Christmas. "You're giving me nothing/I can't wait anymore for you/The feeling's strong/The summer's gone."

All this is sung over a playful blend of several different musical styles: wonderful chamber pop layerings; lovely fiddles (Irish folk) meshing with a bouncing beat (reggae). Musically, it's all over the place -- much like one's thoughts when besotted.

Tossed in here and there is a bit of glockenspiel, calling to mind the carousel where you shared that dizzying kiss, and some opening synthesizers, sounding much like that penny arcade game you conquered to win her that plush stuffed animal.

Hear it for yourself. Download: "Summer's Gone" by Aberfeldy.