Monday, April 15, 2024

Portions for Foxes: The Ettes

"Portions for Foxes" is a series of weekly posts, each about one song by a woman or a band led by a woman. See the introduction for more.

I have two playlists that are all-women, with my usual self-consciously ironic names. I don't want to claim all of music falls into these two buckets, but I find it amusing to divide things into two. So I have Quiet Girly Music and Girls Who Rock.

Today I have a band very much on the Girls Who Rock side, one of the staples of that playlist. These are The Ettes, and the song is Dead and Gone.

The Ettes were masters of short, muscular songs that got in and back out quickly. The longest song I have of theirs is barely three and a half minutes long, and they have a lot of great numbers - this one, Dirty, Blood Red Blood, No More Surprises, Gimmie, I Can't Be True, It Ain't You - that finish up in less than two and a half.

They're not quite punk; it's more of an updated '60s garage-band sound, big anthems in a small space from a tight three-piece band. Singer Lindsay "Coco" Hames - all three members have short one-word nicknames; the others are Jem and Poni - sings with ferocity, especially in this song.

And when you're down
I won't drag you up
I do believe
I've had enough

The first verse also has a great stop-start rhythm, with the guitar riff diving in, loudly, and then stopping - over and over, before the whole song pics up momentum and charges forward.

There's something angry about this song, but it's a cold anger, something that happened a while ago. The voice in the song is going to get what she wants, eventually - we know that. Even if we don't know what that is, or how it will happen.

And when you sleep
Don't close your eyes
That's when you'll get
Your big surprise

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