Song of the Day: 'Yardsale Heart' by Lenguas Largas

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Lenguas Largas can't afford the sweetest girl in town.
  • Lenguas Largas can't afford the sweetest girl in town.
"Never be the ground/It could end your story," Lenguas Largas singer Isaac Reyes intones at the outset of “Yardsale Heart,” from the Tucson-based garage/psych band’s self-titled 2011 debut album. He then issues a series of commands, extolling the virtues of emotional honesty (“lead a sentimental life”) but warning not to give everything away (“think about your tongue”). The ensuing verses and choruses shroud these contradictory impulses in the language of pop music classicism: “I can’t afford the sweetest girl in town … yardsale heart/just like mine.”

The song’s music is far less mixed-up. Trading Lenguas Largas’ usual inscrutability for a compositional straight line of build, explode and repeat; second verse, same as the first. “Yardsale Heart” fuses a cyclical two-chord frame to an arrangement of near-orchestral grandeur, recalling nothing as much as the early-’60s productions of Phil Spector. The band seemed to not be unaware of the song's anthemic overtones; both Reyes’ lead vocal and the tracks of percussion are significantly louder than those of other songs on the album, bringing the accessibility of “Yardsale Heart” to the forefront and rendering its melodies timeless and indelible. Again, Spector’s influence looms large—if the sweeping introduction of Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” bypassed subsequent verses and skipped directly to its climactic conclusion, the result would be quite similar in tune and spirit to “Yardsale Heart.”

But despite its lyrical clarity of confusion, the track is essentially a blank slate. It's a rallying of ecstasy and a breached dam of romantic anguish. A song of unbridled connection and one of broken convictions. But in its unending waves of sighs, it's unquestionably a triumph of the human comedy.











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