Song 19: Shout Out Louds, “Tonight I Have To Leave It” (2007)


I’ll never understand why this song wasn’t a bigger deal.

Both Our Ill Wills and Tonight I Have To Leave It (the Shout Out Louds LP and EP, respectively, on which this track appeared) were well-reviewed, but to me, this song is a “Young Folks”-like crossover hit, the kind of song that appears on every TV show until we get sick of it. The kind of song that mainstream radio stations decide is just popular enough for advertising dollars. The kind of song that you’re surprised your mom knows. In my mind, it’s a radio hit on an imaginary radio station.

The first time I heard this song, I was on a bus heading down Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. I had thrown a bunch of promo discs I’d received (for my other blog) on a playlist, and I’d just hit shuffle on the iPod, hoping to sift through the good and bad bands as quickly as possible before my evening commute ended. A few mediocre songs in, I was already restless. Then came those low, thunderous drums, followed by the woodblock clicks, as if a storm was approaching. “What is this?” I thought, and then the strings burst in, as if in reply. I was fully on board immediately.

I’m a sucker for a happy-sounding sad song, and this one fits the bill. It’s also just really well-performed, especially by Adam Olenius, whose whimpering vocal is a surprisingly great fit for the peppy, spastic song behind it. So good.


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