Los Angeles five-piece Massage have a taut, wiry, but ultimately magical feel.
The band's pared back, minimalist take on jangle pop may be refined in its palette, but the songwriting remains enormously suggestive.
New song 'Lydia' is seemingly the point where the various musicians' shared influences were drawn together, a concise, precise, but hopelessly endearing piece of sighing guitar pop.
"There’s garage rock and bedroom pop, and Massage feels somewhere in between to us," explains the band's Andrew Romano. "Maybe basement indie? Rec-room alternative?"
Seemingly the song has a literary bent - albeit a slightly off piste one. He explains: "We were going to call the song 'Can't And Won't' until we realized that Lydia Davis had already used that name for one of her short-story collections. So naturally we stole her name in revenge."
"Ramshackle, sincere, suburban, catchy," he explains. "It’s kinda the ur-Massage song. I think we started writing it at our third practice, way back in 2014. This was when we weren’t really a band yet. Michael was just learning how to play drums; Alex and I were bringing in old songs we’d written as side-men in other people’s bands. We didn’t really know what we were doing, other than hanging out and having fun."
"But then this almost magical thing happened with 'Lydia'. It started out with Alex’s main riff, the jangly one at the beginning. Then he started messing with a snippet of a Twerps song we all liked; it started to feel like a hook. A few days later I realized that one of the earliest chord progressions I ever wrote — when I was, like, 13 — fit with Alex’s riff, and I sketched out a tune for the verse. Alex took it and ran with it and instantly made it better."
"Suddenly all these pieces started coming together at practice — an oddball instrumental section, an on-the-fly bridge, Gabi’s harmonies. And suddenly Massage felt like a band."
Tune in now.
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