October 20th, 2011 | by ROBERT HAM Music | Posted In: Cut of the Day

Cut of the Day: The Harvey Girls, "Tomorrow is Blessed," Declinate EP (Circle Into Square)

     
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If you're going to match up your music to a set of lyrics that manage to be both creepy and nostalgic at the same time, there's no better way than to slip a sample of some horror movie soundtrack underneath your swaying psych-pop.

At least that's what The Harvey Girls do here on this track from their 2007 EP Declinate (re-released recently on Circle Into Square Records; you can download it for free, but they ask that you make a donation to RAINN to offset the cost). As Melissa Rodenbeek sings of a "lemon-floated long malaise" and making "wishes on the moon concomitant to walking away from our tattered lineage", a clattering drum beat drives her forward as the string section from some Rosemary's Baby type creepfest linger in the background. It's enough to make your skin crawl. 




That is what makes The Harvey Girls' music so interesting. Rodenbeek and her husband Hiram Lucke love playing with life's most important duality—joy vs. sorrow—in their songs. For example, this EP closes with a recording of a 78 that feature's Hiram's grandmother and her sisters singing in a church. And the reason they want you donate to RAINN is because one of those sisters was killed by her abusive husband when she decided she was going to leave him. They title this song "Tomorrow is Blessed", but they can't convince me that they actually believe that.

 
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