tremble clef

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hafdís Huld, "Happily Ever After" (2006)

Love at first sight, with all its cocky confidence, is boring. More interesting are the occasions when you meet someone, and share enough tentative moments to be able to glimpse something like a future together. Perhaps, perhaps not: it is in the uncertain space between that you can fantasize and dream of possibilities.

In this song, Hafdís Huld, the Icelandic waif who used to sing for Gus Gus, meets, beside the "angel fountain," a boy with a unique eye color ("a perfect blend of dark blue, and some kind of yellow"). But she also tells us: "They don't really match [his] shirt." She decides that she "like[s]" him: a measured but sweet assessment, one that resists the kind of headlong plunge into OMG-LUVU4EVA111 territory. Even her verdict on the way he smells ("like honey") is disarmingly moderate: "And I really like honey!/Not as much as vanilla, though." The gentle, acoustic track -- comparable to some of the work of Hello Saferide -- is therefore less twee than it first appears. Indeed, one final detail reminds us of how much the song, despite its dreamy chorus ("We could live happily ever after"), tempers its starry-eyeness with a kind of sordid realism. It's a line that, not coincidentally, provides Hafdís's album with its title. "Before you leave you write your number on a dirty paper cup/I walk home sunburnt in my face/Holding that paper cup next to my heart."


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