Adam Schlesinger, who died of complication due to coronavirus on April 1, had a musical resume that was deep and admired. Best known for his work in early 2000s rock-pop band Fountains of Wayne, he also was the musical director for the TV comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” as well as the primary writer for the theme song to the movie “That Thing You Do.”
But some of the musician’s best songs came with his lesser-known band, Ivy. The New York-based trio, which consisted of Schlesinger, Andy Chase and lead singer Dominique Durand, won over a small, but devoted fan base in the 1990s and into 2000s for its stellar songwriting with a just a touch of melancholia. Formed in the early 1990s and ending with a fifth — and final — album, 2011’s “All Hours,” the act earned a cult following, yet remains underrated. What follows are seven of Ivy’s finest moments over a nearly two-decade-long career.
“I Hate December” (1996)
While not exactly a sonic blueprint for the band, this early offering from 1996 gave fans a window into what Ivy would eventually become, and Schlesinger’s influence is apparent throughout the track.
“Don’t Believe A Word” (1995)
Schlesinger’s ear for melodic guitar is on full display in this early Ivy song, which was from the band’s debut full-length album, “Realistic.” The dreamy pop gem set the tone for the band’s work throughout the 1990s and remains a fan favorite.
“Lost In The Sun” (2012)
A song more typical of Ivy’s later years, “Lost in the Sun” showcases Schlesinger’s ever-increasing studio prowess (production and engineering) in addition to his minimalist minor key guitar work.
The second single from the trio’s sixth studio album “All Hours,” “Fascinated” won over fans of the band thanks to familiar melodic pop sensibilities with just a touch of the detached cool that became Ivy’s calling card. Notable because this song is a far cry from the guitar-centric sound of the 1990s, yet it is somehow still remains faithful to the band’s vibe.
“I’ve Got A Feeling” (1997)
Possibly the perfect Ivy song and an exemplary track of when the trio was at its creative peak (see also their fantastic “The Best Thing” from the same album, “Apartment Life”), “I’ve Got a Feeling” is just a stellar pop song, and got a second wind a few years after its release when it was featured in the 2002 film, “Orange County.”
“Edge Of The Ocean” (2001)
The group’s most popular song on Spotify, “Edge of the Ocean” was featured in several films as well as TV shows, most notably in an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
“Get Enough” (1994)
Classic early Ivy — which is to say sounding not unlike The Lemonheads or other indie bands of the era — “Get Enough” holds up better than most from the mid-1990s, and of course, Schlesinger’s songwriting is a big reason why.