Standout Track: No. 4, “Boyfriend,” a smirking, post-punky number from BRNDA’s sophomore LP, Year of the Manatee. Like most of the fourpiece’s best songs, “Boyfriend” is overtly quirky but also pretty accessible. Dave Lesser’s Fred Schneider-like vocal warble may scare off the faint of heart—especially when he gleefully screeches “Jesus be my boyfriend” at the track’s end—but “Boyfriend” is, at its core, a damn fine rock song, with enough noodly guitar phrases and pummeling, uptempo drum hits to satisfy the Velvet Underground fan in anyone.
Musical Motivation: Considering the track’s wry, whacked-out lyrics, it’s hard to believe Lesser when he reveals the inspiration for “Boyfriend”: his churchgoing mother. Even harder to believe is that the song was written as a Christmas present to her. “It went over fine,” says the singer, who performed it for his family on the holiday. “She still was slightly offended by it but not so much that it ruined Christmas.”
I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band): Lesser’s manic, talky vocals make frequent appearances on Year of the Manatee, making it easy to guess who his favorite frontmen are: David Byrne, Lou Reed, and Echo & the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch. Lesser says he sings this way because wants his words to be heard and understood: “[My] lyrics are easier to get across if I’m talking. We are a wordy band.”
Stream “Boyfriend” after the jump.