2nd Grade – “Favorite Song”

2nd Grade – “Favorite Song”

Pete Gill’s Philly-based indie rock band 2nd Grade caught our attention with last year’s Hit To Hit, a patchwork quilt of short, sweet songs my colleague James Rettig compared to Big Star, Guided By Voices, and Quarterbacks within the same breath. Gill is following up the album by pulling a Car Seat Headrest — that is, re-recording one of his older projects in higher fidelity now that his band has increased visibility. That project is Wish You Were Here Tour, originally recorded to GarageBand in a friend’s bathroom in 2018.

Out next month on the esteemed Double Double Whammy label, Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited contains eight full-band re-recordings of those older songs plus remasters of the 14 original recordings and one outtake. It’s largely an album about the love of music and pop culture, which is clearly demonstrated by lead single “Favorite Song.” In both its bulked-up power-pop and barebones demo forms, the track traces a teenage romance through memories attached to various classic rock songs, using titles like the Who’s “Who Are You” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” to mark moments in time. So, yeah, deeply relatable for anyone who has ever felt even an iota of nostalgia. Deeply catchy too.

Here’s Gill with some well-deserved praise for his own work:

It amazes me on just how many levels “Favorite Song” works, for a sub-2 minute song that practically wrote itself. It’s a total celebration of listening to music, my absolute favorite thing to do in this world. It’s an attempt to tell both sides of a sad misunderstanding. It’s proof of the John Ashbery quote about how proper nouns are the most descriptive words in the English language. Not least of all, it’s a carefully crafted piece in the tradition of “April Come She Will” that nonetheless rejects such a tidy narrative. The stories we tell ourselves through pop music often fail to square up with the facts of our predicaments, but sometimes they can make us feel a whole lot better.

Hear both versions of “Favorite Song” below.

Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited is out 6/25 on Double Double Whammy. Pre-order it here.

Abi Reimold

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