Song Of The Day 2/28/2016: The Roches – “Losing True”

The Roches were quietly subversive during a time when subversion was expected to be much louder, which in a way defeats the very rules of artistic subversion. So really, punks, the Roches out-subverted all of you. They grew up together in New Jersey (I always thought they were from Connecticut) and coalesced as a folk trio in Greenwich Village in the '70s. They recorded two albums with producer Robert Fripp, their 1979 self-titled debut album and 1982's Keep on Doing. Both of them basically featured a very scaled-down King Crimson as backup band, when they were needed, which was not that often. Keep on Doing is a breathtaking album, probably getting most of its early attention for the Roches' three-part a cappella version of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." It was written for four parts. They did need the spare. Songs don't come much more celestial than "Losing True," a Maggie Roche original that makes great use of careful vocal drops inside long sustained phrases. They're like uncertain pinions. Or some mechanical apparatus I'm having a hard time naming, but I swear I've seen them before. Some kind of miniature shift or pulley of some sort. There's also some bendable guitar by Fripp on this track as he is wont to do. Seriously, this song gets me every time, even when I'm hiding.

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