BREAKING SOUNDS: The Touch Me Nots 7" EP

posted Friday Jun 29th, 2007

The husband and wife team hailing from Oakland California, The Touch Me Nots' latest single was released recently on the French label, Nasty Product. Touching on glorious, sloppy chords of soulful, tattered and fun R&B, they pick up a couple of interesting cover songs here that you should pay attention to. The oddest of the two is a cover of a Whitney Houston song, “It's Not Right But It's Okay,” which won her a Grammy back in 2000. The odd path contemporary R&B has taken over the past 25 years is a curious one. As the synthesizers, keyboards, and drum machines wiggled their way into the genre along with overly crisp and often banal production values, the form led the masses far from the raw emotional output from the gritty days of its birth with such acts as Big Joe Turner, and then again a decade later with the soul music intersection of the 60s with Wilson Pickett and so on. It's cool to hear bands that are scraping it back to down to the guttural level, and even doing so by covering the songs that got us on the vapid path in the first place. On the B-side, The Touch Me Nots cover a song by Francoise Hardy, the sweet Franco folk rock superstar. Though their Bay-Area inflections are hardly a match for the intoxicating and breathy voice of the iconic inamorata that Miss Hardy is known to be, they're aiming for the sort of beer-spilling, musical mischievousness that gets everyone loose enough to lose all the right inhibitions and pull together a fresh take on another left field cover. You can still get their single directly from Nasty Product here.