Song 66: Fang Island, “Victorinian” (2012)


I have absolutely no idea why Major, Fang Island’s second record, wasn’t a bigger deal. The band’s self-titled debut was rightly lauded as a kind of rock collage from some alternate-universe radio station, a bunch of influences and riffs thrown in a blender and somehow resulting in something refreshingly original. Major lacks some of its predecessor’s manic edge, but the songs are still unpredictable and first-rate, and I find it baffling that it didn’t garner more attention.

“Victorinian” was one of my favorite songs of 2012. The melody is absolutely gorgeous, the lyrics are baldly romantic and passionate in a style that’s rare for indie rock, and there’s something about singer-guitarist Jason Bartell’s voice that reminds me of Lindsey Buckingham. The way he sings “If you wanna be with me/If you wanna see what I can see” gets me every time, and the fact that he follows it up with “You can do it” — not “You have to love me,” or another condition of the deal — is stark in its matter-of-factness. You can. It’s possible. It’s an amazing prospect, you being with me (“We’re not about to waste a single day”), but it’s in your hands.

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