TransFX, “Sunday Morning” (Joker's Got a Posse)
Remember the first time you heard "Sunday Morning," the lead-off track on the Velvet Underground's 1967 debut album? Remember, after reading about the Velvet Underground's radical transgressiveness, how shocked you were at its music-box delicacy, its vulnerable sentiments, its hushed beauty? That was a special, shiver-inducing moment for me, and maybe it also was for TransFX's Chris McDonnell (the Olympia, Washington band’s composer/producer and sole constant member; fellow Olympians Lillian Maring, Valerie Warren, and Abby Dahlquist also contribute).
On TransFX's new fifth LP, TransFX & the Showroom Dummies, McDonnell converts the twinkling ballad into a gentle head-spinner of a dance cut, riding a loosely funky rhythm that wouldn't have sounded out of place in a 1990 UK DJ's set consisting of Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Flowered Up, and Soup Dragons tracks. Abby Dahlquist captures Lou Reed's just-woke-up languor in the original version, and her voice peacefully coexists with the beefed-up beats and synthetic strings swirling in the distance. Hearing DJ Sharlese spin this in a recent Laser Dome set really tripped my dopamine receptors into overdrive. Thankfully, TransFX's "Sunday Morning" can bring pleasure in many other contexts, too.