Daily Song Study

Squirrel Nut Zippers – Blue Angel

In songs on October 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Going retro is a tricky business. Making the old new again is a worthy goal, and can be much harder than it looks. You can ape the style, but too much attention paid to old details can stifle the electricity. Often it’s helpful to bring in some modern sensibility so the spark of innovation that gave the original sound its energy comes through. The odd assortment of players who make up Squirrel Nut Zippers have accomplished this, and this tune is a perfect example.

The melody and style (not to mention Katharine Whalen’s time-warp vocals) are definitively rooted in classic pre-WWII pop songwriting, but the arrangement takes many liberties that older groups wouldn’t have attempted.

To make the old new again, sometimes you have to bring the new to the old.

  1. […] We’ve spoken here before about doing retro right. And though it may make certain of us feel a bit old, the ’80s is now very retro. This tune is the brainchild of a writer raised in that era. […]

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