(Sevens, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.)
AD is spending the month of May looking at some one-hitters from the 90s; an age rife with overlooked “alternative” gems from the days of 120 Minutes and the just below-the-surface power-pop scene that was bursting with great music. Sevens takes a look at a handful of these singles.
In the 1990s, I got my first taste of power-pop on commercial ‘alternative’ radio stations. Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub, Semisonic and Fountains of Wayne all had various levels of success across radio and MTV during a decade more known for its growling grunge and noxious nü-metal. The sugary, hooky blasts of Sweet’s “Sick of Myself” and Teenage Fanclub’s “Sparky’s Dream” made me do an about-face when it came to my ideas on pop music. But while this type of music was the exception-not-the-rule of 90s radio, it still held its fair share of one-hitters.
Seattle, Washington’s Super Deluxe was one of them – a band who, unfortunately, yet appropriately, burned and disappeared from the radio waves with the intensity of any great confectionery pop song. Their geographic origin was appropriate given how much their debut album, Famous, and its lead single, “She Came On,” sound like a smoother, less distorted version of fellow Seattle natives the Posies. From its first ringing chords to its instantly memorable opening line (“She came on like a storm / from the blind side of a memory / soft and warm / left me seasick on the shore”), is there any wonder this song got stuck in my head for close to a decade? It lay there (along with the aforementioned Teenage Fanclub song) as something I remembered, but had never bought. A song so infectious that despite having not immediately sought it out, it waited until I was ready. words/ j neas
MP3: Super Deluxe :: She Came On