As I sit here, writing this post, I’m trapped indoors. Outside it’s cold and snowy, the murk of winter looms large. And yet, I’m in a sunny mood thanks to Ivy. Over the weekend I was out grocery shopping when I heard a familiar melody cascading from the store’s P.A. system. I removed my hat (it was covering my ears) and stood still for a moment so I could better hear the faint music. The lyrics were familiar, but the voice was unknown to me. Steely Dan’s “Only A Fool Would Say That” was being sung by a French woman with a beautifully delicate voice.
Regular readers of Defending Axl Rose know that I’m something of a Steely Dan nut, so I went home and did a quick search to see who did this ethereal cover. And that’s how I discovered Ivy. A trio consisting of Dominique Durand, Andy Chase, and Andy Schlesinger, the band’s been around since 1997. Schlesinger is best known as the pop-mastermind behind the That Thing You Do! soundtrack and the singer-songwriter of Fountains of Wayne. Ivy’s impressive pedigree doesn’t stop there, however, it turns out Smashing Pumpkins bassist James Iha has a habit of appearing on at least one track per Ivy album.
Ivy’s music is gentle, heartfelt, and shimmers with a breezy summer quality that has warmed this cold boy’s heart. I highly, highly recommend their album APARTMENT LIFE and their impressive, very eclectic covers album GUESTROOM (which contains the Steely Dan track).
See? I’m not all doom and gloom.
Ivy has a very impressive catalogue beyond Apartment Life and Guestroom. Arguably, their best album is Long Distance (2001). I’d also recommend you give a listen to Andy and Dominique’s side project, Paco.
Thanks for the comment! When I wrote this post I had literally just discovered this band that day…since that time I’ve delved into the band’s catalogue and you’re correct about Long Distance. I’ll be sure to check out Paco ASAP.
Keep on rockin’ in the free world.
Back around 2009, Andy and Dominique also announced a third project, called the Never Endings.
They put five songs online and for the next couple of years promised an album was on its way, but it never materialized.
Andy also has his own side projects which have a similar sound, but with his breathy vocals instead of Dominique: Brookville and his newer band, Camera2.
Andy Chase also worked with another band, the Postmarks, which had a similar classy pop sound, with vocals by a soft-voiced female named Tim Yehezkely. Definitely worth checking out as well.
Also, your Obama eligibility blog is the most random thing I’ve seen today…thank you.
That was some time ago, to respond to people claiming Obama was not a natural born citizen under the Constitution. I’ll spare you the lengthy legal treatises with this spoiler: He’s eligible.
There was just so much material! Also, I hadn’t thought about that issue for awhile. Anyway, thanks for doing the Lord’s work.