As the year begins to wind down, I've been trying to go through as many albums as possible before we all drift into an eggnog-induced coma. Somehow I had overlooked the Seattle-based Say Hi's latest LP, The Wishes And The Glitch. The first single from the album, "Northwestern Girls," has been in rotation on my favorite online radio spots, so you'd think their constant reminders would have gotten me to give this one a listen earlier.
Say Hi is the project of Eric Elbogen, the talented low-fi popster with a knack for writing catchy synth tracks with plenty of wit. Oh, and just to clarify, Say Hi is the new (and shortened) moniker for Say Hi To Your Mom, which you most likely remember from the 2006 album The Impeccable Blahs. If you're familiar with that one, you definitely know what to expect from Elbogen.
The album kicks off with the aforementioned "Northwestern Girls," a track that starts off strong, but there is something about his strained vocals as he wails "it must be in the air here" that rubs me the wrong way. A bit like a cat outside your window at 3am lookin' for love, it unfortunately causes a bit of a headache to an otherwise interesting song. The good news is that this is the only track that had that effect on me, so lets move on.
"Shakes Her Shoulders" has all the handclaps you can handle, instantly causing you to head bob along. "Toil And Trouble" brings the synths back, layered over some pretty interesting beats, giving it a darker feel than expected. "Back Before We Were Brittle" is a personal favorite from The Wishes And The Glitch, with a bright chorus that explodes then mellows out into a cool keyboard bridge. The structure isn't too complex, just busy enough to make it interesting and one of the stronger moments from Elbogen's impressive career.
For a musician with five albums now under his belt, Eric Elbogen continues to crank out memorable indie pop. As he mentions in the liner notes, you won't find any songs about vampires on The Wishes And The Glitch, focusing more on the ups and downs of life this time round. If you have yet to jump on the Say Hi bandwagon, and are a fan of Shout Out Louds, hop to it!
MP3 Download - "Northwestern Girls"