20 for ’14: Posse – Shut Up

Part 11 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of last year

“Delay pedals and 27 years of disappointment” is the quote that’s pretty much become Posse’s tagline. It’s been repeated so many times they probably wish they never said it. But then the loose, wandering guitar solo that knits together the three verses of Shut Up sounds exactly like that. The disappointment hasn’t created any sort of anger or bitterness – theirs is more a serene, resigned zen tinged with a hint of weary irony. Which not everyone shares; it’s safe to say the relationship Shut Up describes is a little uneven. One person does all the talking, the other struggles not to cut them short.You overwork all the time/And you’re tired again/And I stand, and I nod/And I sigh and stretch/I’m gonna try and get a haircut/ A shampoo and a shave/And shut up.”

One side is doing all the heavy lifting – the other is barely present. Are they self aware enough to realise they’ve got the sweeter end of the deal and keeping their mouth shut? Or are they willing the active half of the conversation to be quiet? It’s not quite clear. But as the song ascends into beautiful slacker bliss it’s easy to choose which side of the coin you’d rather be on. Is it selfish? Unproductive? Yeah, probably. But close your eyes and get lost in the enveloping guitar haze and it doesn’t matter. Sink into the warm rippling backing vocals and let the song wash over you. And shut up.

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