Here’s a clip of punchy Toronto guitar pop jackanapes Sweet Thing. It’s the ‘explicit’ version of their debut single “Dance Mother”, a herald to their soon-to-be-released full length record available this summer, recorded in LA with Rob Schapf (who has worked with Beck and Elliott Smith).
Sweet Thing combine the bite of indie guitar with the grooves of the dance floor. The influences the band cite range from ELO, to Al Green, to Basement Jaxx, to The Cars. Even Hall & Oates get a look in!
In short, this is classic pop, with an eclectic range of textures that have fed pop radio for decades. And this debut single is clearly made by a group of guys who want you to, in the words of Viv Savage from Spinal Tap, have a good time ALL of the time.
I spoke with the band about this song, about recording in the States, and about the magical ‘F’ word …
The Delete Bin: To me, your music is pop music meant to be danced to, which is kind of appropriate since the word ‘dance’ appears in this first single, ‘Dance Mother’. Setting aside the various meanings of that word in the song, why do you think it’s so much harder for a guitar band to put across dance music?
Sweet Thing: We just try to write catchy pop songs and if people wanna dance along that’s their filthy business!
The Delete Bin: The song ‘Dance Mother’ features some pretty colourful language in the chorus, which is the hookiest part of the song. Do you think that you’re freer to write more direct lyrics due to less dependence on traditional radio support, a channel which has traditionally blocked the use of solid, Anglo-Saxon F-words?
Sweet Thing: C’mon, countless artists have used swear words in their songs and had no problem getting on the radio. How can we forget Britney Spears’ seminal hit “What’s That Fucking Smell?” or Simple Plan’s tween anthem “Fuck you, Dad (Shithead)”.
The Delete Bin: Ah, yes. Classics, both. On the subject of touring, Canada is a tough country to tour for a band starting out, since our cities are so far apart. How did you guys approach this problem?
Sweet Thing: This is actually the first time we’ve toured across the country so it’s still new and exciting at this point. But I’m sure it won’t be long before we drive by a Tim Horton’s and break into cold sweats.
The Delete Bin: You’ve taken a very DIY approach to marketing yourselves on various social media channels, including some self-made video promos. What role will this continue to play, given that you’re now signed on a major label (EMI Canada)?
Sweet Thing: Yeah, you can expect a lot more little videos that’s for sure. Our bass player Morgan is actually a three time Gemini Award winner for writing and editing in TV and a few of us are trained actors so basically we take all that experience and make the dumbest shit possible. So far being on a major label hasn’t limited us creatively in any way.
The Delete Bin: You’ve worked with Rob Schapf in LA on the upcoming album. How did the experience of recording with him, and in the States in general, measure up to what you expected going in?
Sweet Thing: Rob was great! We obviously had high expectations going in because of all the cool records he’s made but he was everything and more than we were hoping for. Recording in L.A. was nice because we were there for two months away from the distractions of home, so it was all business! And that business was watching a lot of episodes of Rosanne and laying down some sweet tracks!
The band have just completed tour dates on the Left Coast, through the Prairies, working their way back to their native Ontario. The full-length album comes out this summer. Check them out, and prepare to dance, muthafucka!
Visit the Sweet Thing MySpace page for more updates about the new record.