Retrospectacle #2: The Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?

Here I go again, revealing the massive gaps of musical knowledge that I only recently plastered over.

This week, it’s an album from The Unicorns and I don’t even have a good excuse of how I completely missed them because they were around until 2003. I only discovered them recently when I learned that the lead singer of the band Islands–“Neil Diamonds”–had originally started out as one of the Unicorns.

“Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?” is an maniacal roller coaster ride of pop brilliance. Every single hook imaginable is thrown out in a disordered but somehow always perfectly fitting fashion. Tin whistle intros mash into quirky keyboard jingles, bouncy acoustic guitar and hilarious call and response lyrics.Sometimes the band holler and cheer like they really are on a roller coaster, riding their musical expedition with their arms flailing out in the air and their eyes squeezed tight in excitement……or maybe that’s just me.

I don’t know where to start with individual songs as the album is as diverse as it is fun. The Unicorns defy structure and genre; they coast, bump, skid and hop around their songs. This is true indie pop. Doing something different not because it’s artistic or important, because it can be  damn fun.

[The Unicorns – I Can Be a Unicorn.]

[The Unicorns – Sea Ghost.]

Retrospectacle, a column from contributor Thom Lau, appears on Tuesdays.

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