My Top 1000 Songs #277: Hey Wow
It's a modest little song from the Connells, off 1989's Fun & Games, but one that's always moved me. On the surface, it highlights the band's strengths, a joyously melodic jangle-pop gem with guitars that truly ring, and one of Doug MacMillan's most dynamic, striking vocal performances (backed in the chorus by some wonderful harmonizing). But it's the juxtaposition of that musical and vocal beauty against some of their darker lyrics, moving lines that give a poetic yet barely sugarcoated window into mental illness or dementia. "Are the stars out? Is the sun down? Or is the darkness here the calm between my ears? And I know now why they've left me here."
I can't imagine there aren't a lot of fans who haven't left themselves hoarse trying to harmonize along with the "hey, wow!" chorus.Live in 2019:In case you missed it, the band has a great new live album out (which includes this song among its all-too-brief dozen nuggets). Check it out at Bandcamp.