Song of the Day: Fletcher C. Johnson - Messin’ Up My Mind

photo by Lauren Slusher

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Messin’ Up My Mind” by Fletcher C. Johnson from the 2012 single on White Iris Records.

Fletcher C. Johnson - Messin’ Up My Mind (MP3)

As if indie band names didn’t tend to get confusing enough -- there’s no “the” in Gossip, Clem Snide is not really a person, capitalize every other letter in tUnE-yArDs -- Fletcher C. Johnson refers to both the name of the group’s leader and of the band itself. With a self-released debut already in their pocket, the Brooklyn trio make their label debut with the single, “Messin’ Up My
Mind” (and its B-side, “Lost My Head”). For a song that sounds refreshingly simple, Fletcher C. Johnson’s ragged garage pop is deceptively clever. “Messin’ With My Mind” may sound like it was written in about the same amount of time it takes to listen to, but under closer examination, it’s clear that the band have done their homework. The song echoes all the hallmarks of 1960s garage rock and pop, but only their best qualities. The call and response vocals, the simple guitar lines, a tambourine-anchored rhythm section - all classic ideas that Fletcher C. Johnson simply compile into one song. Like that messy hairstyle you work on for an hour in front of the mirror, “Messin’ With My Mind” is both effortless and expertly crafted all at once.

Fletcher C. Johnson don’t have any Northwestern dates booked at the moment, but they did stop by KEXP for a recent live session, which you can listen to here. If that doesn’t scratch your itch, watch their video for “Happy Birthday,” in which they take the idea of a party bus very literally.

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