The delightfully snide Seattle band Tacocat just put out a new album, Lost Time. It’s a pretty good collection of songs, but maybe not quite as good as their last album, NVM.
One super silly tune off of their new release stood out to me in particular: “Horse Grrls” an ode to females who cherish horses above all else. Everything about the song is delightful, the galloping beat, the drum-stick countdowns that presage the speedy bits and the on the nose descriptions of a certain adolescent female archetype.
This celebration of the people who celebrate horses inspired me to throw together a playlist of my favorite songs about, or ostensibly about, horses. Unfortunately, there weren’t really all that many horse songs I would willingly endorse, so I had to get creative.
By using band names, lyrical content, thinking of songs that mention horse racing and remembering the Mr. Ed theme song was sampled once, I was able to come up with a decent collection of vaguely horse-related songs.
The Hold Steady have been described as America’s the greatest bar band. With lead singer, Craig Finn’s, penchant for choruses Springsteen-esque both in their sweeping appeal, and Finn’s gruff intonation. With an amazingly consistent track record of creating excellent meat and potatoes rock it’s hard to argue against this distinction.
However, as surely as the King of Beers has it’s lite counter part, so too do The Hold Steady have a similarly flavored albeit watered down counterpart. Cheap Girls are Hold Steady Lite.
The similarities are striking. Crunchy guitar riffs and tales of drunken, possibly unrequited emotion delivered in a flat, but emotive midwestern dialect. Whereas The Hold Steady deal in pseudo concept albums and tell seemingly personal tales drawn from the experiences of following cool music, Cheap Girls spin cautiously optimistic yarns about dysfunctional relationships with a sardonic edge. Both bands know their way around a shout-along chorus, but you won’t burn any calories getting through a Cheap Girls song.
If you’re predisposed toward finding merit in every little guitar-band-that-could I reall recommend diving into the works of Cheap Girls. My personal favorite is 2012’s Giant Orange.