"How Happy I Would Be"
"What is this? Is this Dusty Springfield? Nah, maybe the Heavenly's. Hmmm. Nah, it sounds, I don't know, hmmm. I can't put my finger one it."
I can imagine more than one person thinking this while listening to Strawberry Fair, the stage moniker of Sweden's Jenny Franzén. Franzén crafts insanely chipper, melodic and jangly pop that, for all intents and purposes, sounds like it was crafted by Phil Spector in between sessions with the Ronettes. Her 2008 EP I Can't Do Anything, which I only recently became familiar with, is, um, absolutely adorable in all the right spots; from the subtle bop of the brass section to the girl group harmonies to the gentle jangle of the tambourine, it's all here, and not in the cliche, tongue-in-cheek fashion the Pipette's made so fashionable a few years back. Rather, Strawberry Fair's "Give Up" sounds like something Jens Lekman would put on a mix tape for baking blueberry crumble or canning preserves. With a chorus of "Tell Myself 'Give Up' He Doesn't Like You Anyway/ But How Can I/ When All I Can Think Of Is Him Everyday", "Give Up" is both sweet and sad, but mostly sweet, and one of the finest straight up pop songs I've heard in a long time.
Her label, Alltid Hela Tiden, has also made Strawberry Fair's cover of The Elgins/The Supremes/Chris Clark/The Isley Brothers song "Put Yourself In My Place" available for free download. The cover was originally released on a "3" CD that came with (the now sold out) fanzine Cloudberry 404." Download both "Put Yourself In My Place" and "Give Up" below.
Strawberry Fair- Give Up
Strawberry Fair- Put Yourself In My Place