Alternative music reviews

June 20, 2008

The Simple Carnival

Filed under: reviews,simple carnival — @ 1:42 pm Comments (2)

Me and my arrowI was watching My Name Is Earl on the TV last night and suddenly there was a song I recognised used as backing to a scene where Earl shoots an arrow into the air (and it then skewers him on its way down). The song was Me and My Arrow by Harry Nilsson which is covered by The Simple Carnival on the EP of the same name that I have been listening to for a few weeks.

Me And My Arrow

Me And My Arrow (clip) by The Simple Carnival

This is an EP of Pop so, well, Poppy that it almost defies belief. But this isn’t the cheesy attempt at humour of Mike Flowers, but seems to be a serious love of the sweet melody and gentle dance rhythm. It is the product of one man: Jeff Boller, who clearly has an ear for a good tune and a wry sense of humour as well.

When I was growing up there was a clear conflict between Pop music and Rock music. Pop meant shallow while Rock was ‘heavy’ and ‘deep’. And even now melodic beat combos still stick to their Indie credentials and try to fool people that they are a pretty smile and a sweet rhyming couplet. That leads me to a problem – I still feel that way. I say ‘feel’ because I get a physical reaction to too much saccharine tunefulness. I understand that to openly present pure Pop is really the more radical option but I am old and reactionary now.

The video to Really Really Weird

So, I am not saying I like this record. But there are enough melodic hooks here in amongst what my ears hear as ‘cheese’ to convince me that Jeff has considerable talent. If you like a bit of Beach Boys harmonies then you really should get acquainted with The Simple Carnival.


  1. Are you aware that ‘Me and My Arrow’ was a hit for Harry Nilsson, taken from his 1971 animation ‘The Point’? Perhaps it is more likely that this was the source for the ‘My Name Is Earl’ soundtrack?

    Comment by A pedant writes... — June 23, 2008 @ 11:33 am

  2. Looks like I am now. Even though it undoubtably was the Nilsson version – it should have been The Simple Carnival’s. I shall now change the review to hide the fact I didn’t realise…

    Comment by Cool Noise — June 23, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

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