Dancing, if you really stop and think about it, is odd behavior, a ritual that takes us back to our prehistoric origins and brings unpredictability to the existing social order. That’s why there are still rules on the books against it — in fact, it was recently reported that a couple got arrested for doing the Charleston on a New York City subway platform. A woman who dances alone in lower Manhattan and the risky sort of freedom she enjoys are the subject of “She Owns the Streets,” the latest song from the Raveonettes’ upcoming sixth album Observator (via Consequence of Sound).
“Observations,” the first cut from the album — which is due out on September 11 via VICE Records — was slow, spacious dream-pop about a “night drive,” with eerie piano and an extended drum-less intro. By comparison, “She Owns the Streets” is more upbeat, with jangling guitar chords that recall the Smiths’ classic “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” Instead of being crashed into by a double-decker bus, of course, this song’s protagonist is throwing shapes on the Bowery, but there’s a similar tinge of melancholy. Singer/guitarist Sune Rose Wagner wants the dancer to be her friend. If an ambulance from Bellevue doesn’t show up first.
The similarity to the Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead hit might not be a coincidence: Dum Dum Girls, whose most recent album Wagner produced along with Observator producer Richard Gottehrer, covered it brilliantly a couple of years ago for their He Gets Me Me High EP. Speaking to SPIN recently about the New York-via-Los Angeles indie-poppers, Wagner said, “We have this mutual respect towards each other and that’s really, really cool.” It means they both have somebody to watch their back in case they’re caught busting a move like this while waiting for the N train.