Nothing to Lose
Drag City DC456 (7″/MP3/FLAC)
Sophia Knapp is probably best known for her work in the band Lights, a group that has recently morphed into Cliffie Swan (their debut was released a couple weeks ago on Drag City). In the midst of this transition, she recorded a single, “Nothing to Lose,” which is also recently out on Drag City. Those who think that vinyl’s audiophile reputation isn’t all that and a bag of chips need to spin this clear 7″ disc. Eugene Wasserman’s 5-string bass lines provide an earthbound anchor for Knapp’s ethereal singing, which breaks into supple harmonies during the hook. Keyboardist Jay Israelson lays down undulating, slightly bluesy, Wurlitzer licks to complete the package.
The b-side is a remix of the song by Caroline Polacheck. She employs a gentle hand here, supplying additional synth halos and tweaking the vocals here and there. But mostly, she rides the golden bass-line and entrancing singing that are already present, pointing up the single’s virtues rather than, as so many remixers sadly are wont to do, obscuring them.
Are 7″ singles still relevant in the MP3 era? If “Nothing to Lose” is the yardstick by which we consider this question, the answer is a resounding yes!
Note: We review lots of CDs and videos at File Under ?, but we’re always interested in alternative formats. So, if you are pressing a vinyl recording – be it 7″, 10″, or 12″ – for release, or if you’re putting out a cassette or a 3″ CD, please keep us in mind!