The first of a series of collaborative singles by Jorge Elbrecht (of Violens and Lansing-Dreiden fame) finds him teaming up with Ariel Pink (of his Haunted Graffiti fame). The a-side, “Hang On To Your Life,” manages to touch on completely different emotions on the spectrum — sadness and hope — in just shy of a 4 minute run-time, starting within a dreary bedroom atmosphere and slowly becoming a wonderful slice of psychedelia. The phone conversation midway through the song between the two artists (where the most audible slice of dialogue is a disbelieving “She did what?!”) puts a whole new spin to the song’s hook (“You’ve screwed the pooch, now face it”). Whereas I had first assumed it was Ariel Pink saying it to himself about something he had done, it feels more like he’s saying it to himself in fake preparation to say it to his significant other — who uses the word “pooch” now anyways and who seeks out confrontation? Love that Ariel’s response to whatever she did (Jorge Elbrecht’s voice is all gobbledigook in the conversation) is a “Oh man, how could she think that’s cool?”
The b-side is less impressive, mostly powered by a cascading riff in the chorus, but no less pretty.