[23 June 2014]
PopMatters Assistant Editor
“You’d never guess it,” says Ben Morss of the Brooklyn chamber pop outfit Onward Chariots, “but I initially conceived ‘It Doesn’t Even Matter’‘, the band’s latest single, “as the dark, angry, highly bitter cri du coeur of a frustrated songwriter”. One spin of the track, and it is indeed difficult to have the notion in one’s head that it ever began with such intentions. “It Doesn’t Even Matter” positively bleeds of the sunny side of ‘50s and ‘60s pop.
The evolution of the song, however, entirely made sense as it played out in the studio. Morss elaborates, “When Jesse [Gander, producer] heard my demo, he said the song sounded sunny and cheerful—like ‘Amsterdam in the springtime’. As we recorded it, I realized he was right, and soon we were striving for sunshine everywhere. I had been yelling the hook at the top of my lungs, but that morphed into a gentle, consoling chorus sung by me, my friend Jillian, and a seven-year-old girl named Elodie”.
Perhaps “It Doesn’t Even Matter” would have been more interesting in its earlier, more morose iteration, but as it stands it is a positively infectious number. Plus, with the origin story of the song in mind, it has an air akin to the Mothers of Invention‘s music circa Cruising with Ruben & the Jets: optimistic and peppy on the surface, with a hint of something sinister beneath. Most of all, It certainly bodes well for whatever comes next for Onward Chariots.