The first night I saw the Noise for Pretend play with their current line up I was floored by the prodigious talent of the young woman (Esperanza Spalding) on upright bass. I’d never really seen someone sing and play one of those big things before, much less pull it off with such swagger. She seemed pretty aware of her vocal delivery; as if she had spent some time with Astrud Gilberto, Billie Holliday, and Dusty Springfield maybe.
“His addiction is making all the young girls cry” was a line that hung in the air, suspended over the jazzy breakdown, delivered with the devil-may-care attitude of Audrey Hepburn. The song (‘Pants With His Halfway Down’) continued with perfect quasi-flamenco guitar flourishes (a la Ben Workman), and some George of the Jungle drumming (Christian Cochran) to crescendo and end with a wry Djangoesque one-two finish. The crowd on hand was floored. They did something I’ve never seen or heard of: “Play it again,” they said. “Play that one again.” I was with them. I wanted to hear the song again so much that I offered them a record deal via an email the same night. I’m very excited and honored to be sharing a double EP with Noise for Pretend and my own band, Blanket Music, which will be coming out in November 2001.
Oh, and did I mention She’s 16?
-Chad Crouch, June 2002