Guided By Voices: “Doughnut For A Snowman”
Guided By Voices have always done it their way. Pioneers of lo-fi indie music, the band in its almost 30-year history has largely eschewed slick, mass-audience-friendly production in favor of authenticity, though the band’s prolific output and blistering live shows have earned them a rabid following among indie-rock fans.
The heart of Guided By Voices is frontman and songwriter Robert Pollard. A schoolteacher, Pollard formed the band in the early ’80s in Dayton, Ohio. Frequent lineup changes and day jobs kept Guided By Voices from being anything more than a hobby. That all changed by the early ’90s when alt-rock started to claim the airwaves and Guided By Voice’s label entered into a national distribution deal with Matador.
The band’s 1994 record Bee Thousand earned the heretofore regional band national praise. By 1996, the band experienced another lineup shift, and until 2010 Pollard remained the only constant member. That year, Pollard reformed and toured with Guided by Voices’ “classic” ’93-’96 lineup. On January 1, Guided By Voices will release its latest, Let’s Go Eat the Factory. The band’s sixteenth overall, the record features twenty-one new Guided By Voices tracks including today’s song of the day “Doughnut For A Snowman.”
It’s a tender, if idiosyncratic ballad. Over gentle guitar strumming, and Pollard weaves a tale about a girl that tries to win the affections of a Good Humor man with a sweet doughy confection of her own, a Krispy Kreme. Pollard’s uncanny ability to craft simple pop tunes about off-kilter subjects is part of what makes him such a great songwriter, and “Doughnut For A Snowman” a real gem.