I was reading Consequence of Sound’s best rock albums list when I found this song. I was looking for songs too good for me to have missed so I clicked on a few YouTube links. But then of course the list includes Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, which I think is fine, but no Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks? Just saying, Mirror Traffic‘s way better than Wasting Light.
“The first time I tasted somebody else’s spit, I had a coughing fit. I mistakenly called them by your name, I was let down it wasn’t the same. I’m doing fi-iine”. I initially thought she said ‘feet’ and so I played it again and I was hooked. Y’know, it’s like that song that opens with “I had – no choice – but to kill you”, the kind of opening line that will really get you. And while I’m not particularly a fan of the album’s cover art, I love Lucy Dacus’ “Night Shift”. And the moment I heard the lines “Am I a masochist? Resisting urges to punch you in the teeth”, I thought ‘wow’, and when she reaches the part where she says “I feel no need to forgive but I might as well. But let me kiss your lips so I know how it felt” I said, well, this has to be one of my favorite songs of the 2010s.
“You got a 9 to 5 so I’ll take the night shift. And I’ll never see you again if I can help it. In five years I hope the songs feel like covers – Dedicated to new lovers”. This is probably the most eloquent and patiently epic break-up song out there. Lucy Dacus has a great voice—powerful, too. But this isn’t showy like say, “Rolling In the Deep”. You’d admire her more for how the song builds up, slowly, subtly, and how she tells her story. It’s really hard to describe how good this song is. And I’m gonna stop trying, right – here. If you want some clues, think Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” meets Radiohead’s “Creep” meets Alanis Morisette lyrics. And a little bit of Pavement as well for the alternate guitar tuning. I hope that helps. Or just click that triangle and play.