When I was a kid, my dad would often take me for a ride in his Camaro, crank up the radio, and introduce me to some of his favorite bands, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I’d sit there in the front seat, enthralled by the experience, and so began the long love affair with music that would eventually bring me to this station.
Perhaps as a result of those days, I’ve always had a soft spot for catchy, radio-friendly tunes, despite my proclivities towards the experimental and the eccentric. After all, pop music is our culture’s universal communicator: you can sing just about anything over a good melody and most of your listeners will understand exactly what you’re trying to tell them. That’s some serious power.
And so we come to the titular topic of this article, I Was Totally Destroying It, a group who specializes in creating just that… remarkably catchy and ambitious pop music.
As a grizzled veteran of college radio music direction, I’ve often found that aficionados of indie rock can turn a blind eye towards unabashedly poppy music that isn’t either couched in brooding sentiment, sonic experimentalism, or profound lyricism. IWTDI’s music can indeed become brooding, experimental, and profound, but their guiding principle has always been about building strong melodies above all other elements.
The end result is refreshingly unpretentious and listenable, whether you’re into Captain Beefheart or The Shins. It comes with a strong pedigree too, featuring members of legendary Chapel Hill heavy rockers such as Sorry About Dresden and Strunken White.
So while you might not believe that pop music has a place in your collection, a quick listen to I Was Totally Destroying It’s songbook could change your opinion. Fortunately for you, they’re opening up on Saturday at this year’s edition of the Double Barrel Benefit, and if you’ve never seen them live, prepare yourself for an energy-filled experience you won’t soon forget.
Until then, you can download their latest EP, Done Waiting, for free from their ReverbNation website, one of the best bargains you’re liable to find in 2009. As for us, we’ll see you on Saturday.