Lenka - 'The Show'
Last week I had the honour of attending Lenka's very first gig in London, thanks to the lovely Jessica at This Must Be... POP!, who gave me her spare ticket. I'd not actually heard any of her work before, but the crowd who were there certainly had - even the songs that Lenka introduced by saying "you might not know this one" had certain sections of the audience singing along enthusiastically.
The crowd loved it (except for one chap near me who keep heckling and yelling "play the single!", but I think he may have had a shandy or two) and my rather rambling point here is that I think the sign of a good gig is when you come away with a bunch of songs sitting there in your head like little earworms. And that's certainly what happened to me, with one of the wriggliest earworms being this little ditty.
(Here's the video. Don't anyone make salad with those tomatoes, 'k?)
'The Show' is a playful, cutesy ode to being unsure what to do next, and taking the decision to just sit back and see what happens. The lyrics are a tad simplistic ("the sun is hot in the sky/just like a giant spotlight"), but this feels fitting for the skippy tone of the song, which never pretends to be a deep or profound statement of any kind, but rather a well-crafted piece of bubblegum pop.
All the way through, it skates a line of twee-ness that never quite falls over into the Land of Syrup, and I think that's actually the cleverest thing about this: that Lenka knows how to do cute without making it feel overly affected, and that her wispy vocals are always just strong enough to hold the song together.
Maybe it's all contrived, but it's a perfectly-judged contrivance, and I'm fine with that.
The only bit that confuses me is at the very end, where the refrain of "I want my money back" kicks in. Surely that's like handing the critics a large cream bun and leaning forward so they've got a much better aim for your face? Clearly Lenka's a lot braver than she looks.