There’s no better feeling than when you hear a song that helps restore your faith in a given genre. We all experience a fatigue of sorts when we submerge ourselves in a specific sound for long periods of time, but when you hear something that explores these familiar rhythms in a completely new way, you appreciate that there are still some places and perspectives left to explore within this wide and wild musical world.
Chattanooga indie rock duo Do You Like Bugs? (composed of Matthew Hadden and Evan Dover) creates lo-fi pop-rock environments that hum and shiver with a vibrant musical veracity.
On their new song, “Monarch,” the band offers up a slice of indie rock nostalgia that doesn’t feel like empty sentimentality. It feels like a second skin-they seem to have an unnerving ability to present well-worn concepts as something different and unequivocally distinct. Just when you think that indie rock has nothing left to reveal, Do You Like Bugs? comes along to show you just how wrong that assumption really is. It’s a breath of fresh pop specificity and resolution, the kind of dynamic build and release that so few artists manage to replicate and fewer still seem to understand.
Through their conjoined inspirations, Hadden and Dover build a wobbly pop heart full of synths, brash percussion and a skewed sense of construction. This track owes as much to DIY bands like Sebadoh and Pavement as it does to more electronically minded artists like M83 or Passion Pit. They bend a natural momentum against a host of synthetic influences and come away with a song that’s likely to become lodged in your head for weeks. Spry but focused, “Monarch” is a jangling, effervescent bit of wonder that clings to your brain like pop napalm. You couldn’t get rid of it even if you wanted to (which will most certainly not be the case).
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.