Polaris — ‘Hey Sandy’
Once you get past all the trolling and hysteria and narcissism and abuse, Twitter is great.
Yesterday, someone in my timeline tweeted about this song which I hadn’t known — and now I can’t imagine the world without it. It’s been barrelling around in my head ever since.
Mark Mulcahy’s name was vaguely familiar to me from reading the music press in the ’90s, but I would have been hard pressed to name a track by any of his bands, or even to name any of his bands. Likewise, I had never heard of a U.S. kid’s show from the same era called The Adventures of Pete and Pete.
So, it turns out that a Mark Mulcahy side-project called Polaris wrote the theme song (and other songs besides) for The Adventures of Pete and Pete. And that theme song, ‘Hey Sandy’, is the marvellous thing I found on my Twitter timeline yesterday.
I gather that the show is about two pre-teen friends and (I presume) their various scrapes and japes and life lessons. ‘Hey Sandy’ has a similar air of innocence on the brink of experience — the years from 9 to 12 are a golden time, when you’re leaving childhood but have yet to be burdened by self-consciousness, puberty, peer pressure, unrequited love, bad skin or gnawing existential dread. (I’m generalising here.)
The song doesn’t so much have a melody as a rolling, rollicking lilt that bounces with the energy and happiness of youth. And there’s a whole album of Polaris tracks from this show, Music from The Adventures of Pete & Pete. If you know two other excellent indie-guitar-pop albums from the same period, Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub and The World Won’t End by the Pernice Brothers, think of Polaris’ album as their 9-year-old kid brother.
‘Hey Sandy’ is still the standout track, though. Thank me when this is stuck in your brain later today.