Cover illustration of Super Science Stories issue #5 by Gabriel Mayorga, 1940
I think I knew from the beginning that "We Love the Beach Boys" would degenerate quickly into an accounting of my favorite songs that have great harmonized vocal breakdowns, and I'm okay with that because I LOVE THAT GIMMICK SO MUCH. I've already got favorites by the New Pornographers, Apples (in Stereo), Pernice Brothers, and Olivia Tremor Control in mind based on this single criterion.
"Take the Long Way Around", from 1997's underrated/understated Songs from Northern Britain is like most of Teenage Fanclub's more retro-sounding numbers in that it sounds more indebted to the Byrds than the Beach Boys, with its bouncy jangle and close harmonies. But there's a little "we love the Beach Boys" in there as well. The sad-sounding summery lyric, particularly the phrase "golden light sensation", is very Surf's Up. And that baroque-sounding breakdown where the instrumental backing drops away, leaving a single guitar strum, ticking clock, and panned wordless vocals, would not exist without Brian Wilson.
"Take the Long Way Around" by Teenage Fanclub