Underground Love – And The Giraffe

21 Oct

And The Giraffe: No relation to a Roald Dahl story.

A slightly special post today. It’s my birthday! And in the spirit of gift-giving, I’ve got a present for you today in the form of a a great new band, And The Giraffe. The story (like most) begins with a phone upgrade. I recently made the shift to an iPhone. Good should you ever need to know the capital of Lithuania on a whim. Bad if you ever want a minute without a new email.

Now that I have three (an unholy trinity, if ever there were one) email accounts constantly refreshing, there are few vibration-free moments in my life. Not that I’m complaining. Because for every email proclaiming in misspelled capslock that they have the ‘HOTTEST NU ACT EVA,’ there’s an email from a band like And The Giraffe. Okay, did I maybe think that they were a tribute band to one of my favourite childhood storybooks? Perhaps (Note: Sophie Dahl, get on that). But that doesn’t mean my subsequent enjoyment is in any way lessened. So, moral of this story. Want to be featured on Can You Hear This? Never use capslock, always make reference to the favourite stories of my youth. Anyway, And The Giraffe. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

For the eagle-eyed among you, you’ll remember that I featured the band on Mikey’s What We’re Listening To (which will return when the author does from America) column. That week, I was listening to Still which is a neat song. It’s surprisingly sophisticated for a band made-up of two best friends. If I were so inclined, I would probably get as far as opening up Garageband and calling it a day. I’m hoping adulthood will end such bouts of capriciousness (unlikely). Still has a jazzy sound and finishes off with a surprising minute of electronic beats. Take a listen to get an idea of what they’re about:

My other favourite song of the band’s is Underground Love and it’s really beautiful. It has a similar sound to Still, but that’s not really a problem given my affection to the track. Take a listen and we’ll discuss (by which I mean, I’ll write and you read):

I’m really irritated by people who argue about the authenticity of music because it normally leads to the predictable, and false, conclusion that pop music is generic. But it seems to me that if I were having such an argument with something, I could very easily use And The Giraffe as an example of heartfelt, organic music. These guys are playing for pleasure, and the passion shows through. It’s music from the heart, for the heart. On Underground Love, the band sing:

Ask me again in 500 years

If death on my doorstep tingled my fears

If pleas for clean shadows had any chance at all

If underground love got lost, lost in that fog.

This is teenage heartbreak, but on an epic scale. It’s Katy Perry’s heady froth but muted. In fact, the Perry-comparison is less ridiculous than it may at first appear. Both artists have recently created records that hit close to teenagers’ hearts. Is Something For Someone’s Magic 8‘s line of ‘Don’t you wanna / Drive real fast past the edge of town / And not look back till we’re gone,’ really so different to Teenage Dream‘s hook of, ‘Let’s take a chance/ And don’t ever look back/ Don’t ever look back’? The two artists are worlds (and by worlds, read charts) apart but the comparison has legs (clothed in skin-tight jeans if you lean towards Perry’s version). Yes, lots of Perry’s songs are caked in well, cake but there’s sincerity beneath her Number 1 singles. And there’s an undeniable thread that runs by Underground Love, Teenage Dream through to songs like Fountain of Wayne’s Hackensack, Calvin Harris’ Feel So Close Ingrid Michaelson’s Girls And Boys. They may not be musically similar, but they’re not thematic worlds apart.

If that comparison didn’t quite fit for you, maybe this one will. In both theme and style, Underground Love is reminiscent of one of my favourite songs, The Ice Is Getting Thinner. And like that Death Cab For Cutie song, it errs on just the right side of sentimentality. Everything about this band, right down to the album title that evokes a sense of longing and lost, is beautifully sensitive. Without wanting to sound disingenuous (it’s my birthday, I’ll gush if I want to), Underground Love is a song that roots itself to your brain and stays with you. We all lead pretty busy lives, so it’s great that bands like And The Giraffe create music that makes you reflect, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If you need a break from work/stress/hopefully tweeting your favourite celebrities, you could do much worse than taking a listen to Something For Someone. And a Roald Dahl story probably wouldn’t hurt too.

You can probably tell from this post that this band’s music is right up my street and if you’re of a similar disposition, do check out the band’s various pages:

One Response to “Underground Love – And The Giraffe”


  1. New York, New York! « Can You Hear This - October 24, 2011

    […] truly unique soung experience from And The Giraffe. Finally, I leave you with an after-though from the Big Apple: watch?v=6PHOeXIPNZE] Predictable? […]

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