Elbow - “Lippy Kids”
Another favorite from 2011. Elbow’s Build A Rocket Boys!.
If you don’t know Elbow, you will learn about them now, and then more next year as they’re composing the BBC’s 2012 London Olympic theme. That’s a pretty big deal. Playing together for the better part of twenty years, they craft big, galloping, sometimes melancholic rock tunes. On their newest record, Build A Rocket Boys!, things are a bit quieter. When you play the record, you light a slow burning fuse that makes frequent stops on its way down to reflect on years gone by. Guy Garvey, Elbow’s singer, takes precious time to do this on “Lippy Kids”. A tune about being a kid and the wonder and confusion and failures and great triumphs that come along with it.
It makes me go soft, and think about helping my Grandfather, Tom, build a pigeon coop in the early 1980s when I was little. It then takes me to that time I snagged a golden can of Coors when I was a bit older, taking it into a hidden upstairs bedroom and having my first secret sip of beer and then hiding the can in the attic. It takes some more time, allowing me to remember grandiose adventures in my Grandparents backyard filled with enormous pine trees and the way my hands would be covered in sap after an afternoon’s romp. It gets especially quiet during the last minute or so, Guy Garvey steps back and lets it play out with those gentle keys and strums and that gentle pulse of bass. And then, as it winds down, I reflect on finding that crushed Coors can in the attic when we cleaned out my Grandfather’s house after he passed away last year. Sitting there for nearly 25 years, both covered in dust and freshly unopened all the same.
That’s the feeling this album gives me. It’s sort of miraculous.