Watch an exclusive interview with Office from South by Southwest! MORE >>
Are you hung-over at work? Nursing an unrequited crush on a coworker? Or just having a massive case of the Mondays? Office’s self-released sophomore effort, Q&A, will help you get through every work-related ailment. Singer and former visual artist Scott Masson recruited the talents of guitarist Tom Smith, bassist Alissa Noonan, and drummer Erica Corniel for the as-yet-unsigned Chicago-based quartet in 2004. Far from evoking the monotony of cubicle life, the unsigned band combines the indie-pop sound of Beulah with the classic new wave of the Cars.
The 12-song compilation alternates between moments of soaring escapism and candid reality checks, while backed by electro-tinged melodies. In the charming album opener “Wound Up,” Masson sings, “Let’s go to the beach tonight with a bottle of wine / Baby it’s a lot harder to stay in when you’re wound up so tight,” amid handclaps and sunny harmonies. The vocalist also reevaluates his career priorities in the desperate disco rocker “Busy With Other Things.” After admitting to chronic tardiness, Masson lists off possible excuses he could offer to his boss — ranging from “train delays” to “lions, tigers, and bears.”
Q&A even contains tunes inspired by the exhilaration of the weekends. The Illinois natives reach Prince-like levels of suggestiveness on the CD’s title track: “Lost in your stare / In the midnight air / Let’s take a chance / Uh huh uh huh.” Although many of us are still stuck in the rat race, Office just made it easier to get through the daily grind.
Office’s May residency:
May 2, 8, 15, 22, Chicago, IL (Schuba’s)