Featured on episode 35.
There is, literally it seems, the sound of insects crawling around, rustling Lord knows what and ruffling the listener’s feathers at the start of this track. It’s a little creepy. It makes one’s skin prickle. But not altogether unpleasantly, especially as it is followed by the strumming of luscious atmospheric guitars which, although heavily distorted, nonetheless lull the ear. There is a sunny lining to these lazy guitars’ sound and they provide the song with warmth. Next, Dolll’s voice arises, a little shrill and a lot dulcet. Her intonations possess a childish whimsy, almost as though she’s never quite sure which note she’s going to go for next and is wilfully inventing the lyrics as she goes along. But she delivers it all with a dose of stubborn conviction we dare you to resist. It’s notoriously easy for such a vocal style to come off as contrived, but, when Dolll sings it does not sound affected for one second.
The lyrics paint a bizarre domestic picture, one that comprises a cockroach that’s been dead on the stairs for two months (may it rest in peace), general listlessness, missing puzzle pieces and what seems to be an obsession with a bullet that somehow lodged itself under the couch last December. It’s not the type of place most of us have visited before, but the spookiness is precisely part of the appeal here.
While this vignette impresses disjointed fragments of thoughts and feelings upon us vividly, there is also an eerie detachedness that comes with this non-linear stream of consciousness. The only way to apprehend this song is to experience it. Although it tickles curiosity, searching for definitive meaning or explanations within it is vain, rather like with David Lynch’s more recent movies. This would actually make a fitting soundtrack to that director’s work. Last December carries the cinematic moodiness that is perhaps Inconsistent Jukebox’s signature in a body of work that is otherwise very much versatile. We’ll never know what happened last December, but the remnants of that moment’s peculiar ambiance will linger with us long after the song’s final chord.