Lifted out of my Great Pop Mixtape November 2019 for a little more emphasis, a little more oomph, a little less conversation a little more action on this cold wet miserable grey cold (have I mentioned the temperature yet?) Tuesday lunchtime.
You may be wondering to yourself what genre this scintillating 12-inch slice of extended disco belongs to. Well, let me set your mind to rest right now.
Disco disco disco disco.
Disco disco disco disco disco.
D-I-S-C-O (but no, not disco like that).
Long before it reached DJ Koze’s studio for an additional loop-de-loop through an audiophile’s time machine, “Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me)” was already deeply devoted to pop history. As originally produced by Holly Lapsley Fletcher and Rodaidh McDonald, the track — among the standouts on Låpsley’s debut album, Long Way Home — is a warm swirl of throwback maneuvers. There’s the part-barbershop, part-gospel-styled voices that open the song and float throughout; the sweeping strings and double-time tambourine that power it; Låpsley’s smoothed-out garage-soul voice; and even the narrative it delivers (girl dials up lover, operator’s not helpful in getting through — a pop trope since before Mary Wells). Each element triggers memories of fine yesteryears, not to mention the era of a single-carrier telephone monopoly.
NPR – Songs We Love
Or, as she puts it…
He doesn’t call me so put me through operator
Maybe I’ll leave him and fall in love with you operator
My baby doesn’t call me so put me through operator
So tell me should I leave him and fall in love with you operator
You can buy a physical copy of this via Discogs. £77.06 well spent, I’d say.