First Rate People - "You Won't Get This Joke at All" (stream)

by Geoff Nelson

11 January 2013

"You Won't" is one of the first great songs of 2013 from a band certain to breakthrough this year.

First Rate People storm back with the dialogical single, “You Won’t Get This Joke at All”. Always able to cobble together diverse influences, sometimes forcing the ideas for two songs into a beautiful and catchy cacophony, “You Won’t…” opens with synth punches that are equal parts Passion Pit and Britney’s “You Drive Me Crazy”. Of course, the twist comes with the addition of a dialed-back and pretty acoustic guitar progression and Anna Horvath’s singular vocal.
One of the best voices in independent music, Horvath is heartbreaking and heartbroken on lyrics like, “There are streets and there are signs / there were worse and better times,” a neo-Dickensian understanding of an emotional trauma in our particular modern moment. Her last line, “across these gender lines / I need you,” the arrangement returning to the breezy acoustic guitar on which it originally torqued, suggests a profound tensile strength, a durability even. If these two song ideas can be firmly blended into one arrangement, these broken relationships might too survive. “You Won’t” is one of the first great songs of 2013 from a band certain to breakthrough this year.

Reprinted with permission from 32ft/second.

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