Jangle and Strum

This piece by Mitch Therieau explores the tension and latent power in jangle pop. I was in love with jangle pop before I even knew what it was. It’s a big part of why I fell in love with R.E.M. back in the 80s. My teenage self was realizing that there was more music to be heard than only what was on the radio.

It was where I found my independence. Long before any notion of publishing my thoughts on the Internet or in some video shot in my bathroom mirror, I was writing anonymous thinkpieces that I’d post to the school bulletin board. They’d be torn down almost immediately by a teacher that likely never read them. I’m sure they were horrible but a lot of them were exploring lyrics that opened up inside of me like fireworks in a jar.

I was fragile. The music was fragile. The metaphors were fragile. Everything was held together with artifice and risk.

I was excited a few months (years?!) ago to discover the Strum & Thrum compilation that collects some jangle pop tunes from bands almost no one heard of. This is astounding stuff that glittered just out of notice like seeing a glitch in the mid-80s bluster that disappears as soon as you look at it.

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