Long ago, in a land far away
So before I disappeared for three weeks, before a meta music blog demi-god emerged from Nick Denton’s ass, quite possibly before spring-made-summer-made-fall, one of my old favorite’s posted a song by The Cyrkle.
No, they’re not misguided teens with plans to piss off grammar hammers. The Cyrkle were a 60s Pennsylvanian four-piece with more notoriety for the people they knew than the music they put out. Through a bunch of handshakes, the guys had Brian Epstein pulling strings for them (“The Cyrkle” supposedly being the invention of someone named Lennon), marketing their blithe pop music and conning Paul Simon to unload a b-side for their debut album. For all the bu$ine$$ being done, no one much paid attention past the Simon-penned “Red Rubber Ball.” And despite releasing two more tepid LPs (including one soundtrack to a soft porn flick), The Cyrkle mercifully faded back into the presswood living room they were spawned in.
However, one gem glints in the dissolvable cotton-candy ball that was second album, Neon. “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” is a song of joyous rejection — a kiss off to Lady Tramp/Unfriendly Joe and the damn barber who tried to take their sideburns all at once. The crush of Simonesqe vocals, heavy blooms of piano chords and some tinny strums is a bit of a headrush. Neat little snare taps get the sugar cloud moving into a sudden chorus. “It doesn’t matter anymore / I know! / I took you back before / But I’m all through forgiving you” sounds superb from The Cyrkle’s mouths, with a keen eye for harmony keeping things lush. In fact, if their sound was a few members heavier they could pass for American Zombies. When the song swaps key signatures it’s as if the clouds have parted long enough for a sunbeam smack in the eyes, and not an unpleasant trip either (sunglasses — you thought ahead). At the end of the bridge, with about 15 seconds left, the bittersweet harmony (long and drawn out so everyone can catch it) is straight outta’ The Carpenters single toolbox. And it’s all you can think about as the piano gallops to the end. This song is too much fun to hum along to, especially for a “hey, nicely fuck off” tune — one of those 60s mini-classics to dig up from time to time. Thanks again for excavating it from the boneyard of pop bands, Chris.
Now if we can only get a Mix on L-R…