Song Diary / Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – City

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down / “City”

I’ve enjoyed watching (well, listening, really) as Thao Nguyen‘s sound has progressed over a few LPs. We Brave Bee Stings and All was a stunning debut (“Bag of Hammers” still slays me), letting Thao and her voice and lyrics lead the way overtop rockin’ but folksy guitars and drums. Know Better Learn Faster found her plugging in the guitar more often and playing around with lyrics and song structures. And now, with We The Common, she and the band are mixing these two styles, with stellar effects. The banjos are prevalent throughout the album, as are some synth sounds, some strings, and some vocal guests. It’s outstanding, a true step forward for their musical work, and perhaps reflective of Thao‘s joint album with Mirah from 2011 (which made our Top 10 Albums list, at my behest). I think the lead/title track on this one is the most popular (and rightfully so, I’ll add!), but track 2 is the one I want to share. The guitar lines are fuzzier and bouncier than ever, the energy is as high as always, the innovation is prevalent (those tinkly notes on a xylophone or something? amazing), and Thao‘s lyrics are properly showcased. The song might reflect a breakup (of a love or a friendship), or just a realization of purpose in life, or … well, any number of things. The best part, though, is the conclusion. As much as the earlier riffs and vocal lines perk my ears, it’s the outro that always sticks with me:

Rest and be strong
Wash and be clean
Start a new year
Whenever you need

—Cheers, Brendan


Thao & The Get Down Stay down on the web: Website / Facebook / Twitter
Buy We The Common: Domino Record Co / Insound / iTunes / Amazon

[Song diary is a random but reoccurring segment where we highlight specific songs that have been living inside our heads while staying away from all the album and band specifics. Sometimes they're ours, sometimes other people's. Email us if you want to do one! Think of it like a virtual mix tape that's always being updated. Click the tab up top to open a new window so you can listen to all the songs on one music player]

One Response to “Song Diary / Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – City”

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