One for Friday: The Candy Skins, “She Blew Me Away”

I find band names fascinating, especially considering the ways they can evolve over time to just feel like second nature. R.E.M. and U2 probably sounded a little odd at first, but they eventually developed natural associations with the bands and, in these instances, their distinctive sounds. I don’t even think about the other meaning of, say, the Jesus and Mary Chain. I also find it interesting when a band’s name can somehow completely convey the sound that’s going to be found on their records. Maybe I’m applying too much of the knowledge I already have rattling around in the record warehouse in my head, but I think you know exactly what you’re going to get from a band called the Candy Skins.

The preferred nomenclature for the band apparently pushed those two words together, but my copy of their debut CD, Space I’m In clearly has it listed as “Candy Skins,” so that’s what I’m going to stick with for our purposes today. However it’s written out, the band name promises a certain sleek, colorful brand of pop music. They should be delivering singles that practically explode out of the radio speakers, burrowing into the brain, as addictive as M&M’s. That was largely the case, although the song that I connected with most forcefully was a little more of a slower builder. “She Blew Me Away” had the same sort of pristine pop quality with a little tinge of moody longing that was completely irresistible to me as I was entering into my twenties and realizes that, no matter how much I held my breath and stomped my feet, it was time to give in to adulthood.

When I weigh what I really miss most about college radio, I rapidly come to the conclusion that it’s songs like this. It wasn’t the track that was most aggressively pushed (although I think it may have been an official single at some point), but it was the one that I found and loved. Any song could become a sort of hit, if only for a sole DJ.

The Candy Skins, “She Blew Me Away”

(Disclaimer: The Candy Skins’ debut album seems to be out of print, though I’ll concede that I was lazier in the hunt than usual. For all I know, they have a significant cult following and there are all sorts of compilations, reissues, box sets and QR code stamps that cause smartphones to project holographic images of old live shows onto low-hanging clouds. My point is that I post it here with the belief that it can’t be purchased from a local, independently owned record store, so sharing it shouldn’t hurt that much. I think it can be purchased digitally, so there are plenty of options to fill out the Candy Skins part of your iTunes if you’re so inclined. Should I be contacted by anyone with due authority to request it’s removal, I will delete it from the interweb at the earliest opportunity.)

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