Spins and Reviews | 9.15.16 | by Alan Haber
Here is another example of what’s new on our air, and it’s a great one…
Goggy | Satellites and Saints
It was her first spoken word–not a word that anyone would recognize, mind you, but a word nonetheless. It was the first word that came into her head, that she uttered as she looked at her cat. “Goggy,” she said. “Goggy.”
Many years later, a long period of dedication to her craft logged, piano player/songwriter/one-of-a-kind voice Margrit Eichler has written and recorded a solo record, under the name of Goggy, that retains much of the sound of the band she fronts, True Margrit, even as it sounds somewhat different, but not so much as you might notice.
For one thing, and perhaps the most important thing, Margrit plays all of the instruments, including two kitchen implements that you might not ordinarily consider would emit sounds that would complement a melody: cheese grater and spatula. I would imagine that there is no college course or other mode of instruction that would prepare a musician to use such items to enhance a recording, but the world is a very different place nowadays, so who knows?
Margrit’s sense of melody drives Goggy’s songs, well-written constructs that burrow into your subconscious, constructs that come with a virtual replay button which you virtually press when the urge comes, and it will surely come, to hear one or all of them again. The sound of the digital dialing of a phone number, with the last digit left off and no area code noticeable, prefaces the dreamy “Original Voice.” A sweet piano riff is repeated, and other instruments chime in the mix as Margrit’s treated voice comes in; the affect drifts away and the song slides into gear, building as the seconds pass. In the end, this original voice delivers a song that doesn’t let go.
Another song that doesn’t let go, that mixes the proverbial it up and is really an art-pop mix of sly songcraft and production savvy, “Capsule Crush” pushes pop conventions in the same space as wavy topside machinations, as if Kate Bush were fronting early XTC in a bit more of a subdued way. All the while, melody is king, albeit with the wink of an eye. “Goofed Up on Hopballs” is a more mannered melodic affair, punctuated by what sounds like a theremin pushing a slightly spooky agenda that hangs over the proceedings.
And there is the more straightforward of the bunch. Such is the pretty “Someone Else’s Sound,” which is more or less a sweet sounding musical greeting card, at least until the clever mid-section pounds into earshot. “Blameless and Sky Blue” is more or less a showcase for Margrit’s always-expressive voice played atop her equally vital piano, even as the bottom end shakes for dramatic effect.
It’s always a tricky proposition to reel off the influence of singers and songwriters one hears in certain recordings, but I would be remiss in not adding Joni Mitchell to the list I began with Kate Bush. Aimee Mann, too. Also, Margrit Eichler, in her role as the namesake of True You-Know-Who, because there would be no Goggy if it weren’t for the True sounds of the music Margrit makes with bassist Gary Hobish and drummer Andrew Bacon.
It never is a sure thing, the pop music game, practiced by innumerable singers and songwriters and performers the world over; it’s never a sure thing, yet the mass of folks who dip their toes in the water do so because, well, what else would they do if given the chance? Art is a calling, a pure expression of soul-baring truth, and if there’s a person whose truth telling is her calling card, it’s Margrit Eichler. Goggy’s Satellites and Saints is her current form of expression. Experience it today.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Original Voice,” “Satellites and Saints,” “Capsule Crush,” “Blameless and Sky Blue,” “Goofed Up on Hopballs,” “Someone Else’s Sound,” and “Plenty of Proof.”
Where to Get It: Watch this space. Coming soon.