This limited edition 7-inch is being released in celebration of Record Store Day and features “Mädchen”, the lead single from the forthcoming debut album by Chicago’s This is Cinema. The band lives – and records – in a Logan Square coach house, where studio experimentation and analog tape machines are central to the songwriting process. As a result, This is Cinema’s music is lush and organic. Furthermore, the band exhibits a maturity that belies their young age (3/4’s of the band is just 21).
“Mädchen” (German for girls) is a sunny and joyous pop song, however the lyrics are cryptic. Beneath the jangly guitars and singer Ben Babbitt’s crooning voice, the band attempts to imitate drum machines by using analog tape manipulation and heavily processed acoustic drum recordings. The effect is striking: “Mädchen” is both beautiful and ugly, euphoric and sad. B-side “Gloom Cookie” is a non-album track that the band revived from an abandoned song pile. It’s This is Cinema’s idea of a full on rock song: a 4/4 beat with surreal lyrics and (why not?) a choir of tuned wine glasses, which are played on a home-made mellotron that was originally created by engineer/multi-instrumentalist Theo Karon for a cover of Bjork’s “Where Is the Line?”.
All music by This is Cinema, lyrics by Ben Babbitt, recorded and mixed by Theo Karon. A-side “Mädchen” was performed by Ben Babbitt (vocals, guitar, keyboard, tape loops), Theo Karon (keyboards, percussion, tape loops), Bob Buckstaff (bass), Marcin Sulewski (samples, percussion), Alex Babbitt (alien whale voice in the bridge), and Emily Cross (additional vocals). B-side “Gloom Cookie” was performed by Ben Babbitt (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Theo Karon (keyboards, wine glass choir), Bob Buckstaff (bass, guitar), and Marcin Sulewski (drums).