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The Aislers Set’s twee melody belies the darkness of “Hit The Snow”

The Aislers Set, The Last Match

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: songs with the word “hit” somewhere in the title.

The Aislers Set, “Hit The Snow” (2000)

The Aislers Set was born from the ashes of Henry’s Dress amid the fuzzy dream-pop of late ’90s/early ’00s San Francisco. With only three albums, the band received tremendous critical acclaim, and supported indie powerhouses like Belle & Sebastian, Yo La Tengo, The Shins, and Sleater-Kinney. Frontwoman Amy Linton has a knack for combining twee elements like toy xylophones with a more mature chamber-pop sound, resulting in a kind of whimsical griminess or biting sweetness.


Though that sweetness pervades The Aislers Set’s output, “Hit The Snow,” the second cut off the band’s 2000 album, The Last Match, is as typical of its songwriting as anything: lyrics that are short and simple, a catchy tune, jangly guitars, tambourine. Though nearly all the songs are hummable, “Hit The Snow” is one of the most memorable. The lyrics are simple and fairly repetitive: “I walked in a straight line / Went up to the New York border / Been following the paint lines, honey / And I hit the snow.” Presumably a reference to blow, it’s surely one of the catchiest songs about Schedule II substance. The carefree and breezy tune belies the darker narrative, bare bones though it may be, and shows off the band at its best mix of melody and discord.

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