I grew up listening to my dad’s vinyl. (Kids, point your iThingies here to learn more!) He was a fan of late ’50s and early ’60s Brill Building-style pop — early Beatles, Little Richard, The Coasters, The Everly Brothers, The Shangri-Las, Frankie Avalon, and compilations with names like “At the Hop.” (Kids, a “sock hop” was a school dance!)
On the surface it was all innocent doo-wopping and shoo-wopping, but underneath was that reverby “Be My Baby” kick drum, the threat of real heartbreak and loss. That stuff wormed its way into my skull and has shaped my musical tastes ever since. I still can’t resist good harmonies.
I’ve been enjoying the comeback of that sort of production in everything from The Pipettes to Lucky Soul to She & Him. Now Vancouver offers its version with Maintenant (French for “now”), an album made over five years by producer Colin Stewart, singer/songwriter Nick Krgovich, and a guest list of almost 30, under the collective name Gigi. Singers and players (many Vancouver locals) dropped by to do what is effectively play acting — pretending to be back in the Brill Building, even down to the era-appropriate lyrics.
The 15 track running list could have stood some trimming, but for the most part the album’s a breezy delight. This track, “The Marquee” (with Katie Eastburn) is one of my favorites.http://grist.s3.amazonaws.com/misc/musicblog/gigi-the_marquee.mp3”%20pluginspage=