Modular Records threw a pizza party last night at the Hanger Bar. The occasion? The release of the Softlightes debut, Say No To Being Cool Say Yes. It was an informal affair, and apart from the pizza (which was good), and the Softlightes buttons and Modular stickers strewn about, you might not even know it was a happening.
It was so mellow, that Softlightes singer Ron Fountenberry, hoodie pulled tight around his face, didn’t want to harsh everyone’s mellow by playing a few acoustic songs — which was the featured attraction. (Apart from the pizza.) But after a couple glaring looks from his publicist, Fountenberry sat down on one of the couches in the back, pulled the mike down and launched into "The Microwave Song." My friend Dorrit and I were sitting on the couch opposite him, which was a little awkward as it was as if he was singing just to us. But it turned out to be quite nice, actually with Fountenberry having the crowd singing along with the chorus ("I am just a Microwave").
Unfortunately, "The Microwave Song" would be the opener, closer, and encore. But I was glad he played, even for just one song. It typifies the cute pop found on Say No To Being Cool Say Yes to Being Happy — a title that Isaac Brock might have come up with if he was on Prozac. Fountenberry’s voice is somewhere between Ben Gibbard and Wayne Coyne, and Softlightes a bit like that too: dreamy, sweet, effervescent, hopeful.
And here’s a nice video for their song "Heart Made of Sound":