Song of the day – 435: The Hot Toddies (+ free mix tape!)
I need to correct a grievous oversight.
The Hot Toddies’ Smell The Mitten is one of my go-to albums when I’m looking for a little sweet relief. Indeed, their close harmony lament ‘Seattle’ made it on to my Perfect Summer Femme-Pop Mix Tape years ago. (You can still download it here.) The music is so upbeat, and – you like to think – a bit naughty. (One favourite is called ‘Wet Dream’.) The family enjoys it, although Isaac always giggles when I put it on because it sounds a little like the Chipmunks and he knows how much mum hates the Chipmunks. The vocals must have been sped up, just a fraction. They sing like they know they’re cute. I have no idea whether I’d find them cute or not, and it’s irrelevant anyway. They sing like they know they’re cute hence they are cute. A little cloying perhaps, but not overtly so. (Sorry, become a little distracted here, because I’ve just discovered their version of one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs, ‘Santa Baby’.) On record, they shine. And the live recordings on YouTube make them out to be a great night out.
Yeah. So all that. It wasn’t ’til yesterday however, that I realised I hadn’t featured them in this series before. Maybe I was put off by their name, fool that I can be. Whatever. Time to rectify the fault, and profess my love for all to read.
Here’s what I wrote about them a few years back:
The Hot Toddies are from Oakland, California. No wonder they sing about the Pacific Northwest.
I once spent a terrifying night in Oakland with three chairs wedged against my motel door, but you don’t want to know about that. You want to know how it’s possible to sound a little like Alvin And The Chipmunks singing The Vaselines or one of those limp-wristed jangle-pop bands, while creating bubblegum pop like the ’60s and K Records wrote it – bubblegum pop with a sharp tongue that tells of wet dreams and surf paradises, like the Pink Ladies from Grease reinvented for the Internet age. Every town should have one.
Damn, why did I have to mention Alvin And The Chipmunks? No way are the Hot Toddies ever going to ask my band for a support now.
Here’s a bonus Slumber Party video by way of an apology.