My iPod #545: John Linnell – House of Mayors

“House of Mayors” is the title track from the second solo EP of They Might Be Giants’ John Linnell. Consisting of ten tracks it is something of an experimental piece of work; the majority of tracks are instrumentals named after former mayors of New York City. “House of Mayors” is very much the musical centrepiece –  spread throughout the EP are three short instrumentals that borrow some of the melody from the song – and the full thing is saved until the very last track.

Unlike his full solo debut album that would be released three years later in ’99, “House of Mayors” is very much a DIY project. All instruments present on the song are played by Linnell and the weird thing is I think, apart from the guitar, everything else is played on the keyboard. There’s a very heartwarming and earnest feel exuded by the minimal production and twinkling keyboard lines as John Linnell describes the scene at a fictional house of mayors where various political things are occurring. The subject matter doesn’t sound all that special, but the songwriter’s knack for great melodies and music make it one of the most comfortable listens in the vast catalogue of They Might Be Giants related material.


Author: Jamie Kyei Manteaw

An English student at Coventry University who spends most days listening to music (old and new) and reading and writing about it, however informal it may be. And studying too, obviously.

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