The Harvey Girls, who first contributed to Ball of Wax with volume 38, are back for volume 39 with “The Long Haul,” which also closes their 2014 full length release, Complicated Lady. “The Long Haul” has a mellow, spacey vibe, with vocals layered on top of a fluffy bed of electric piano, bubbling bass and occasional bursts of percussion, wah-wah electric guitar and synth-y bleeps. Despite the Stereolab-ish feel of the instrumentation, the song strikes me as a dramatic ballad, a torch song in an anachronistic setting. Vocalist Melissa Rodenbeek sings this like a lonely cabaret burner, injecting otherwise straight-ahead chill out music with a sultry sadness. Over the course of almost five minutes, “The Long Haul” seems content to mostly drift and sway through a repeating three chord sequence rather than shift gears or built to any sort of climax. More meditation than pop song, “The Long Haul” offers an interesting change up to volume 39.
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