Nostalgia plays a major role in my music listening. If a song can hark back to a specific moment in my life, I am much more emotionally attached to the music, which seems obvious. What is less obvious is the enjoyment I get when I find a new band that encapsulates the sound of an older, more renowned band, and builds on it. While I would say now that U2, and specifically Bono, is one of the most overrated bands on the planet, I admit that I remember fondly the first time I heard “Where the Streets Have No Names” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for” in my old Chrysler minivan with the wood paneling on my family’s annual 13-hour drive to Michigan. The shimmering guitar riffs and powerful voice of then-cool Bono stuck with me, at least until I realized that Bono is kind of a douche.
You may wonder why this post has delved into a lamentation about Bono, so allow me to get to my point. The first time I heard “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap, chills traveled up and down my spine. I was immediately struck with the image of that Chrysler; of my family bickering over which fast food chain to stop at or whether or not my father was going to pull over and let my brothers and I pee (he rarely did). The fresh-faced quartet from Melbourne had filled my mind with nostalgia, capturing the haunting feel of Joshua Tree while infusing it with softer, more shimmery vocals. The similarities between the instrumentation is striking, which is not to say that The Temper Trap is the next U2 (I hope not). The band has been building buzz in the UK for a while now after the release of the “Sweet Disposition” single in 2008 and their full-length debut Conditions, in June.
Their popularity is set to skyrocket now that “Sweet Disposition” has found it’s way into the Garden-State-hype-garnering 500 Days of Summer, the new film starting darlings Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, both in the trailer and on the soundtrack. The song and movie seem to make a perfect match (the soundtrack also features Regina Spektor, the Smiths, She & Him, and Feist), and should help The Temper Trap become a household name. Until then, I’ll just keep blasting “Sweet Disposition” over and over again and remember that one time my dad refused to pull over, made my oldest brother pee in a cup, and led to a vomiting competition between my two brothers and me. Or maybe I’ll think of the happier moments.
MP3: The Temper Trap – “Sweet Disposition”