Between Delta And Delaware
I've been listening to Airport Girl's 'Between Delta And Delaware' on repeat play for the last 2 days. And I'm going to tell you why.
Because this is The One Song on their 12track album Honey I'm An Artist that truly deserves the kind of inflated B&S / Pastels comparison typically accorded to them. Because this is That One Song you should get the entire album for (unless of course you're getting the single instead, which is the kind of sensible thing that typically eludes me).
Because 'Between Delta And Delaware' is one of those elusive low-key winsome songs that catch you in passing, like sudden iridescences that shine out in the blur of the world you look out on from a speeding bus.
Because this small little song has all the kind of hidden fuzzy charm you'd find in the B-side of some grand single, or unexpectedly but delightedly at the end of a brilliant EP, like B&S's 'Put The Book Back On The Shelf' on 3,6,9 Seconds Of Light (well, just a LITTLE like that - this isn't THAT good).
Because 'Between Delta And Delaware' has the rhythm guitar on the right earphone, the lead guitar on the left, the base guitar bridging the two with a chugging hugging hum, and a 4-note analogue keyboard softly glowing behind it all. and then ... yes, only THEN, does the voice stride in, all casual singing-speak, yes, almost Pastel-like, wistfully aha-ing and uhuh-ing between verses filled like a travelling journal with passing imagery and fleeting detail, catching "acerbic kisses on the morning after" and "shimmering heat haze, glimmering freeways" and all manner of the personal and the peripheral from Delta to Delaware.
Not that you even notice the lyrics. Because 'Between Delta And Delaware' is one of those rare pedigree pieces of Pop that hit those Three Perfect Chords. And stick to those 3 chords. All 3 minutes of it. There's no guitar solo. No solo anything. Just those Three Perfect Chords that never fail to make you so inexplicably happy.
And finally (well there's more but I won't test you good people), 'Between Delta And Delaware' ends on a whim. No swelling climax, no sad ending. No you don't see it coming. Because he suddenly decides "THERE" and brings the melodic musings to an end, except he didn't tell the rest of the band, who each end a half-beat behind the drums, a gently shambling close to a song that opened up the skies and all the fields and all the trees amidst them 'Between Delta And Delaware'.
© Kee Leng 2002
Airport Girl record for the very wonderful Matinee and Fortuna Pop labels, depending on what side of the Atlantic you happen to be from. Or in. Or in love with... You can buy their records direct from the labels and from record shops. If you're lucky enough to still have a decent one in your town.