Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry, Mastered by Jeffrey Konrad
A great way to write songs is to be quick about it. It's some of that get in and get out mentality that long-staying Indiana band Marmoset makes its own. The three aging members of the band stay just long enough in a song to rummage around, explore its crannies and then spill out of it cleanly, without anyone hating to say goodbye. They aren't wasting their time on superfluous flair or accoutrements. There are no hard feelings, no residue and everyone can just go on their merry ways having partaken in a short excursion of scruffy indie rock adventure. It's not just the succinctness that makes Marmoset songs intriguing though. These songs between 1-minute, 50-seconds and two and a half minutes take the appropriate amount of time to get into the sometimes dreamy and often dark and hazy pieces of school days-youthful memory - a coagulation of pretty girls out of boys' leagues, the smell of the junior high school's hallway floor wax, peach cobbler, something called a strawberry heartache and the very real explicit properties of fleeting time. Lead singer Jorma Whittaker sings with a hushed, reverberated fluctuation, as if he's sees little need to get too loud. We're implored to listen closely and the words come out as if they've been disturbed in a room with a glaring beam of sunlight striking through the shades, illuminating all of the dust and debris that we're breathing in at all times whether we know it or not. It's how he sings on most occasions, but then there are the delightful outbursts a la early Kevin Barnes on albums like "Cherry Peel" and "The Bedside Disaster: A Petite Tragedy," straining the fidelity and distorting at the edges in an exuberant fashion. The observances that are made in typical Marmoset songs are those that just pop out - these matters of the heart and what sounds fun at the time. These are the exchanges that go on in one single mind, volleying back-and-forth with their own matter, with Jablonski sounding like a haunted and drowsy Stephen Malkmus or Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. These are tales of pure fire remembrances and thoughts - loving the way another eats their ice cream or does handstands - and how easy it is to get locked up in language (Whittaker sings, "The more I try to talk, the more I just get lost," at one point) and how everything just gets shuffled up and begins to feel like someone's tripping on the good stuff.
Joyful Noise Recordings