Monday, March 11, 2013

Music: Adam Green & Binki Shapiro

Adam Green and Binki Shapiro craft wistful and melodic tunes together.

Adam Green and Binki Shapiro released their debut collaboration earlier this year and it is a great collection of chill music about love gone awry.  I always thought Green's solo work had an old-fashioned pop sensibility to it -- but the somewhat oddball lyrics are a giveaway that the music is of this time (listen to: "Bluebirds," "Emily," "Bible Club").  This same affinity for crafting catchy melodies carries over into his project with Shapiro (who is also part of the trio Little Joy).  They became friends when their respective bands toured together and they began making up songs together in the van, finding kindred spirits in one another.  Shapiro moved from LA to NYC to write with Green.

The pair are well aware of the comparisons to music of times past, but it's not their intention.  From an interview with John Norris for Interview magazine:
NORRIS: So a lot of the narrative so far about the whole album involves comparisons to certain reverb-soaked '60s acts.
SHAPIRO: Yes, they love to do that.
GREEN: We planned it.
NORRIS: It on some songs, I think "Casanova" has some of that feel to it. But there's others are more straightforward, even rock-y tracks as well. How much—whether it's Nancy and Lee or Serge and Jane—were those records even in your heads when working on this, if at all?
SHAPIRO: No comment. [laughs] I don't know. It was kind of the only way that this record was gonna go, because we both are singers and songwriters. So we didn't really have a choice but to make duets. But we've never really been fans of duets.
NORRIS: Or of that era?
GREEN: Well I'm definitely a fan of that era, and we know about all that stuff. But I think all of the duets that are popular and that people play on the radio were, for us, a little more bubble-gummy than what we wanted to make together. So I guess we wanted to make our own version of a duets situation, something that we thought would be artistic. So I guess it just ended up coming out like something that I don't think really sounds like a lot of those things.
NORRIS: So it wasn't going for some kind of revivalist thing?
GREEN: No, I think we kind of took this clinical approach to analyzing a relationship. I just think it's very much me and Binki's aesthetic. And I was never like, "Damn, I'm gonna sing like Lee Hazlewood," or something. [laughs] It's just what happened because me and Binki, we like to try to sing what we thought were pretty songs together. This is just the result of that.
 Check out their music video for catchy tune "Just to Make Me Feel Good":

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