just last week i was watching an old ted talk by malcolm gladwell. in that talk, he highlighted the contributions of howard moskowitz to our understanding of variability in consumer preference: there is no perfect spaghetti sauce or coffee out there, just many different sauces and cuppas that suit different tastes. while this seems like a obvious enough point, what it does show is that consumers often don’t know what they want, or at least don’t like to admit what they really like. this was his example: if he were to ask anyone what kind of coffee they liked, the likeliest answer was “a dark, rich, hearty roast”. according to moskowitz’s research, however, only 25-27% of us really like a dark, rich, hearty roast. most of us in fact like milky weak coffee, though far less of us would like to admit it.
i think i can say something similar about what i say about my music preferences and what i really like. here’s the thing: if you asked me, i’d tell you i love music that’s dense, overwhelming and intense. and it’s true, i really do love stuff that tears my heart out and leaves me completely awed. for birdseed shirt, the album released earlier this year by dc band deleted scenes, it doesn’t sound immediately like that kind of music i usually rave about, but it does unassumingly but confidently strike a noble balance between the raw and the pristine, always resisting the temptation to go over-the-top like what i usually say i like. album standout “fake ids” displays just that kind of restraint, and every time things threaten to spill over to excess and indulgence, the band always finds the means to return to that simple, thin melody that quietly but oh so powerfully drives the song.
if i was lazy, i might have listened once and irresponsibly dismissed this as “mediocre” and “not that great”, but i’m glad i took the time to embrace the other sides to my preferences and recognize what truly is an impressively diverse and mature debut effort by an urgent young band raring to go.
get your copy of birdseed shirt from the what delicate online shop.