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New Music Friday: Rich People (“No Age”), Modest Mouse (“Ice Cream Party”)

Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse. Image by Mark Metcalfe.

“No Age” – Rich People (Rock)

by Katie Ahrens

Last Friday, Philadelphia-based mellow-rock band Rich People released their most ambitious single to date. With a raw and interesting way of writing about the human experience, and a humbleness to be admired, they stand apart from other up-and-coming bands in the scene.

No Age” is three minutes and twenty-five seconds of pure bliss, and marks a definitive turning point in their sound. Though it speaks of a darker solitude, the upbeat rhythms create a perfectly blended irony.

Rich People are lesser-known and still growing their fanbase, but they should definitely be on your radar.

“Ice Cream Party” – Modest Mouse (Indie/Rock)

by Erik Ritland

I don’t get it.

I was going to leave my review at that, as it accurately conveys my confusion about this song. But lest my “man of few words” thing become a gimmick, I’ll explain myself a little bit.

Modest Mouse once had a pretty high reputation in the indie/alternative rock community. Their combination of catchiness and interesting experimentation gave them a dedicated niche following. Their huge hit “Float On” put them on the map nationally.

Currently, they’re touring with the Black Keys, which is an odd coupling.

Even odder, though, is this damn song.

Maybe it’s for kids, who knows. Once Bob Dylan had a song called “Wiggle Wiggle” (that featured Slash from Guns N’ Roses of all people) that really confused people. The lyrics included lines like “wiggle wiggle wiggle/rattle and shake/wiggle wiggle wiggle/like a big fat snake.” It seemed like a bad joke, but once people realized it was written for his toddler, it made more sense.

Maybe Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock wrote “Ice Cream Party” for a child, and if he did, that’s awfully cute. The lyrics are mostly “there’s an ice cream party at my house” repeated over and over again. That is, until the end of the song, when female voices chant “pretty pretty pretty please.”

Yeah. That’s really it. I’m serious.

Okay, okay, so that isn’t exactly it. A close look at the lyrics reveals that there’s some darkness beneath the kiddie feel, some stuff about abusive parents that seems tacked on. I dunno. It just doesn’t land for me. 

The song is actually pretty interesting sonically, with swirling guitars, synths, and keys making for a far-out listening experience. It’d be a pretty cool track if it had better lyrics.

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.

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