[16] Saint Etienne, ‘Tonight’

Saint Etienne

Saint Etienne are eating themselves, singing about the joy and anticipation of seeing their favourite band, of seeing themselves. Self-mythologising, London-mythologising, pop-mythologising. They’re so far into their navel, they’re sending shivers up their own spine.

And mine. I mean, look at this place, constantly turning over the past. This kind of pop nostalgia is catnip. Obviously, Saint Etienne’s celebration of that pre-gig buzz could apply to bands now, but “maybe they’ll open with… a top five hit”? Does anyone think like that now? You probably know exactly what they’re going to play by aggregating setlist.fm stats.

This did nothing for the girls, who scrapped over a toy ladybird. Junior admitted she liked the beat, but she wasn’t captivated by the feeling or the propulsive synth wash. Perhaps she’ll get fuzzy about this in a couple of decades.

[13] Lykke Li, ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’

Lykke Li

Junior was poorly this morning, so her mother kept this one back ‘til later. I had no worries about it being a smash with her, though, because we’ve been wallowing in the peculiar cooing sound of Lykke Li all year long. She already had a foot in the door of our house before I’d heard a note – what with my compulsive love of Scandinavian pop – but when she turned out to be a Swedish Björk with enough glorious tunes to fill an ABBA Best Of… well, we practically had the guest room made up.

Whatever you might expect, there’s nothing flimsy about ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’, the most plainly obvious single from the gossamer-light but hard-nosed Youth Novels album. It sashays about while piano is gamely thumped, and even though Lykke sounds cutesy she’s still letting us know who’s boss. Cementing the Scandi-pop credentials, this and Youth Novels enjoy the production magic of Björn of Peter, Björn and John fame; that’s Peter, Björn and John of ‘Young Folks’ fame; that’s ‘Young Folks’ of Jukebox Junior No.1 Single of 2006 fame; that’s the 2006 Top 20 of I-haven’t-yet-transferred-it-to-this-version-of-the-blog fame. Got all that?

Eventually, Junior listened on the way home from Sainsbury’s and was observed to clap in time (you’ll hear Lykke Li herself declaring, “I know your hands will clap”). It enjoyed a second play at home, where Junior danced like a dervish. So much for being ill. She then asked for “lemico, lemico”, which Lykke fans may recognise as a bastardised refrain from ‘Tonight’. Yes, we’ve played this album a lot.