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Side Pony

Retro-pop classicists bring the party, keep it hot

Lake Street Dive

Danny Clinch

With the title track to Lake Street Dive’s latest LP – surely the greatest coiffure anthem since Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” – frontwoman Rachael Price coins a fresh double-entendre for a down-low lover, rhyming “You’ve been in my stable” with “I see you whenever I’m able” while boldly venturing, “Who doesn’t love a side pony?!,” all while leaving room for dirty-minded lexicographers to have a go at the word “scrunchie” in the process.
Bravo to them, and double for Price’s spectacularly husky alto, still the keystone of a young band steeped in Motown grooves, Muscle Shoals soul, Beatles melodies, Beach Boys harmonies, and pop divas from Dusty Springfield to Amy Winehouse to Adele. The retro vibe rules, captured with gleaming accuracy by producer Dave Cobb, Nashville’s roots-music it-guy (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell). If it sometimes feels a bit calculated, it’s still pretty irresistible, and best when the crew disrupts the illusion of AM radio in the 1960s, when few commercial DJs would’ve dared to play a song titled “Hell Yeah,” even if it was this good.


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