Talk About Catchy: Cars & Trucks

Talk About Catchy: Cars & Trucks

Adriana SaboFriday,20 November 2015

There is a very good reason why synth pop was so damn popular in its time. It is as catchy as hell. Simple, bouncy, happy, it will make you move to the beat and you are not able to forget the piece of music you heard. Cars & Trucks, a synth pop (or electro pop, if you prefer)/indie band from Boston, released precisely one such eponymous collection of tracks at the beginning of September. There is quite a number of people making music for Cars & Trucks: Matthew Schwartz (Electric Guitar), David Schockett (Keyboards and Laptop Synth), Micah Shapiro (Vocals, Drums), Daniel Shapiro (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Percussion), Phil Bressler (Bass, Vocals), Shira Lenza (Vocals), Ray-Ray Farrales (Vocals). And what they make is some very happy music that is incredibly rich with sounds and textures, yet never overly complicated, and with layers that flow in perfect harmony.

Despite the tags that the band applied to their album on Bandcamp — rock, guitar, harmony, pop, synth — the first association that came to my mind upon hearing their music was “hippy.” In the band’s own words, Cars & Trucks is a collection of “songs that pop about love, belonging, animals, nature, and epic myths.” In other words, this is a delightfully positive, happy and hippy album that sings about things that we don’t even think about any more, that we consider to be things of the past, and that are retro and maybe even out of fashion. But they do it in such a lovely, creative and catchy way that you simply have to love Cars & Trucks. One slightly contradictory thing about the album is the relationship between the title and its general theme. Despite the fact that its name points to artificial machines — and thus may lead listeners to expect noise and growling — the music is so incredibly “natural” and connected to things that are alive.  “Secrets of Love,” “It’s So Nice to Meet You,” “Animal Exercise,” “Musicians of the Sun,” and “Our Trees,” in other words, seem to be strongly tied to the world we have almost forgotten. They sing that we are a part of nature, despite the fact that we are drowning in technology and electronic gadgets. Cars & Trucks can be, thus, understood as a political statement by the people who refuse to conform to the standards of our consumer societies.

They sing in “Musicians of the Sun”:

Sun is a mighty warrior, can the wind blow across the sea?
Earth is not dancing, earth is sad.
Free the musicians and earth is glad.

The band reveals their love of music and the Earth, and they share emotions and thoughts that might just be what we need to feel better and more connected to each other. And, though they might seem a bit naive, just think of how amazing the world be if the hippy dream did come true and we all lived in piece and harmony. You can listen to Cars & Trucks below:

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Bandcamp, Image Credit: Codie C on Flickr

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