Solid Gold started in Madison back in 2001, but they're not a local band anymore. They're not a Twin Cities band either, despite living in Minneapolis these days. They're a band from the moon, if the moon is a giant disco ball laced with rainbows and radio waves from a not-so-distant past.
Some of these radio waves might come from MGMT, with whom they share a certain affinity for synthesizers; Yeasayer, who are pushing pop into the future in a somewhat similar way; and the dancers from the '80s TV show Solid Gold, who dared to give the most undanceable hits of the decade a strange-and-sexy treatment in primetime.
Of course, Solid Gold would like to tell writers, bloggers and fans that they're not really any of these things -- and that we should just get over our precious cultural reference points and take the band for what it really is: a trio of crack babies.
"Madison is our mother. She formed us in her fertile womb. Our mother drank and smoked a lot, 'cause we came out really fucked up," says Matt Locher, one-third of the group, of their history. (That womb would be 10 S. Bassett St., and the substance use we'll leave that to the imagination.)
However, by the time we get around to discussing their song "Get Over It," a track off of the band's 2008 debut album Bodies of Water, he's tossing around more pop culture references than most.
"The song is based on the movie Flight of the Navigator: It's a stirring tale of love, loss, redemption and the triumphant will of the human spirit -- and the notion that deep down, we are the masters of our own destinies," he explains. "In the future, we will perform this song with Sade in front of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt."
This might be believable if the mood the song creates wasn't so laid-back. But that's a big part of its charm: It relaxes you into a state where you don't care about how you're supposed to dance to electropop, where shrugging and nodding are just as acceptable as fancy footwork.
The opening melody could be straight out of an '80s pop tune, falling somewhere between "Shout" by Tears for Fears and "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc., with a bit of Depeche Mode-style mystery piped in from afar. But the detached-sounding delivery of the vocals, plus the fact that the synths sound ripped from the trippy Canadian TV show Polka Dot Door, make it sound like memories of an '80s childhood, dredged up while drinking flavored vodka from a flask at a movie theater.
The movie showing might have been Rain Man or even Days of Thunder, given Locher's description of the song's origins.
"'Get Over It' was recorded inside a waterfall," he says. "Writing it was like watching a Nascar race: either really boring or really fascinating."
Listening to it seems to be the latter -- and even a bit therapeutic thanks to the repetition of "It's not your fault" in the chorus. If you're drinking flavored vodka at the movies, anyhow.
An MP3 of "Get Over It" is available in the related downloads section at right. More music by Solid Gold is available on its MySpace page. The band will perform as part of the second annual Forward Music Festival in the Wongz Walk Showcase dance party with Exceptor, Salem, Peaking Lights, Savoir Adore, and DJ Real Jaguar at the High Noon Saloon on Saturday, September 19.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.