Forever My Baby b/w The Last Time - The Dahlmanns with Andy Shernoff (Next Big Thing/Pop Detective)
The advice doesn’t come often around here but when it does, it’s always free. So here’s a dose: If you see a record with The Dahlmanns’ name on it and you’re into powerpop, buy it. The same goes for Andy Shernoff (but you probably knew that already). This one has both so how can you go wrong?
The Dahlmanns are wife-and-husband, Line Dahlman and Andre Dahlmann, plus a bunch of other Norwegian Dahlmanns, currently Otto, Jan Erik, Magnus, and Pål. Shernoff is the songwriting genius behind The Dictators (R.I.P.) and his own solo work. Andy wrote both songs and duets with Line on the A side.
“Forever My Baby” is the sort of single you couldn’t kill with an arsenal of high-powered weapons. Not that you’d want to try. It’s bright and shiny, guitar-drenched and the production is Spector-esque in a sunny sort of way. It’s one of those simple ‘girl-meets-boy and then they both realise the relationship is on the way out’ songs that the Ramones would have recorded if Johnny hadn’t vetoed it.
The vocals are made in Heaven (or at least Oslo and Brooklyn) and how can you go wrong with an opening lyric like this?
When I saw you standing in the shadow, at the Stooges show
Then I knew I had to have you, and never let you go
If you can bring yourself to flip it over, “The Last Time” is mid-tempo pop with a bed of acoustic guitars, organ and background vocals, with references to Bleeker Street, love and dreams. The hook sneaks up and by the time it does, you want to play it again.
It’s been issued as a 45 on Lindsay Hutton’s own Next Big Thing label (to celebrate his zine’s brief revival from the dead - it's otherwise a blog) and on Pop Detective Records. Rolling your mouse over the record cover will show you both versions.
There’s probably no need for any more gratuitous advice but if there was, it would simply be to buy it. Those things in the previous paragraph are links, you know?