Thursday, 17 December 2009
36. Young Folks, Peter, Bjorn and John (2006)
It all started with Keith running into the office, quick quick, radio on, coffee on, volume up, they're playing it again, yes they are, yes they are, pararapa, pararapa, pararapa, pa-pa, drumbeat, rustle of shaky egg, drumbeat, rustle of shaky egg, the bassline kicking in, put your lips together and blow. Those first few times like being in on a secret – my God, have you heard it, can you feel it, can you whistle it? – before it went out into the world and came something bigger than rattles and breaths.
Listening to it now, it still sounds like a freak of nature, a tiny song that did something extraordinary, a success story out of nowhere that suddenly was everywhere. It makes me think about seeing the band in the Barfly early on in the single campaign, when the fuss was in its first flushes, Peter sitting in the bar wearing a red shirt and jeans, looking absolutely terrified. I think about going to Stockholm, my second ever job for The Guardian, interviewing every Swedish band but them (they were in America by then) about the rush of indie pop taking over our radio stations two days dashing from cafe to office to all-night outdoor party, everyone blonde and lovely under luminous baubles. I think about the moment when every advert and ident was swept up in its magic, and the time Kanye West turned it into something quite different.
But more than anything, I just think of me and Keith, in the office bright and early in the morning, like two partners in crime, in our own secret club, playing it louder and louder, trying to drum and push air from our mouths, the song rushing on and on.