Pop & Hiss

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Hey, Chop Shop, you can thank us later: Laura Jansen's 'Single Girls'

February 21, 2011 |  6:00 am

Hey, music supervisors, here's the track for you to prominently place in the next wistful goodbye scene for a winsome teen drama -- the kind where all the girls have shiny hair and all the dudes stutter charmingly when they tell one of the shiny-haired girls that they are, like, in total love with her. For a while, they date in cute montage form but eventually, they get ripped apart because her Dad is an evil capitalist (or some other variation from the disastrous teen love handbook, well-mined by John Hughes and the WB). Then the stuttering guy goes off and dates another girl in an attempt to forget about his one true love -- and the shiny-haired girl gets angry and tries to move on too. Cue Laura Jansen's "Single Girls" -- as well as four more seasons of them circling each other like lover sharks.

Anchored by little more than piano and Jansen's nimble slip of a voice, "Single Girls" evocatively captures the first delicate steps into the unknown of singlehood, the time when getting a drink with the guy down the hall feels thrilling and illicit and getting flowered girlie sheets for your bed feels like a defiant victory.... yet a certain someone keeps returning to mind.

The Hotel Cafe regular and Dutch native will be releasing her debut, "Bells," in the U.S. on March 22, but it's already scored plenty of cold nights in the Netherlands, where "Bells" has gone platinum, aided in part by her cover of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody." Much of the album was inspired by the end of a rocky relationship, go figure, as well as Jansen's peripatetic teenage years moving around Europe and the U.S.

The video, posted above, features Jansen in a succession of lovely dresses as she works her way through the highs and lows, the concessions and confessions of "Single Girls." It's not as sassy as Beyonce's "Single Ladies" but it's getting there, one considered step at a time.

--Margaret Wappler