“I Love My Family” b/w “We All Need to Be Alone”
“Mr. Hide” b/w “Panama Hat”
(Nat Geo Music)
Having now discovered that the R’s released De Fauna Et Flora on Italy’s Foolica Records last March, I’m a little less excited about how Nat Geo Music is releasing this series of 7-inches in advance of the eventual re-release later this year. However, that lack of excitement doesn’t make these singles any less infectious, and the way they’ve set up the 7-inches is really well-done.
On the two singles I’ve received thus far, you’ve got “I Love My Family” backed with “We All Need to Be Alone” on clear red vinyl, and then “Mr. Hide” backed with “Panama Hat” on clear green vinyl. The packaging on both looks like it was taken from an old National Georgraphic magazine, or a book on animals found in the back corner of a dusty bookshop. Big block letters, looking like the whole thing was letterpressed next to etchings of lizards, birds, and insects.
The musical pairing on each is that the a-side is a rather good, albeit basic pop song. Nothing too terribly game-changing, although both “I Love My Family” and “Mr. Hide” are catchy. Neither song will stick with you very long, but that’s quite all right, as the b-side to each release will more than make up for the banality of the supposed “single.” “Panama Hat” is a piano jam of a tune, with lots of hooky harmonies. The trumpet, strings, and warm production make the cut feel like it’s been lifted from a lost ’70s singer-songwriter gem.
“We All Need to Be Alone” is the exact opposite of “Panama Hat,” but no less wonderful for it. The song, despite having a rather melancholic title, playfully inverts your expectations and gives you a huge multivoice chorus, replete with “la-la”s and a bouncy verve. It’s one of my new favorite tunes, and, by all rights, should be one of yours, as well.
MP3: the R’s, “Mr. Hide”