Luke Temple, the 'creative center' of the band, was first a famous muralist because the Brooklyn band took off. The music we're going to hear today is, according to their Spotify bio, an "ethereal collage of indie folk, baroque pop, and plains country (and whatever else strikes their fancy)." While mainstream music may call for a genre placement, indie music, which is arguably more popular anyway, allows for an abundance of different sounds to come from one band.
Ooh "Intro" is first. I love when albums create body like that. The simple description is an oncoming beat of drums and excitement, made to be like a train coming at us. Let's do this!
"Hard To Be Close" brings on this semi-haunting ghostly voice, singing very simply about what's on his mind. The music backing it is not as haunting, but it's out there, away from the general maddening crowd. There's a lightness to it, despite how much is going on. Damn this is really hard to describe in words..
Second up is the interesting sounding "Make Up Your Mind." There's like this muted funk sound going on. The control over each and every note is really different. The vocals are more a part of the background than the lead of the song at all until all of a sudden everything decides to come out clearer. This is a 70's throwback in new music that I haven't heard before, creating a very different perspective than a normal listening session would provide. I think the following is the official video, my my internet at home blows, so I can't totally tell.
Ah, yay, I'm returning to the next song after a PO'ed work e-mail about something that wasn't my fault. Joy of all joys. Sorry folks - I'll try to keep a positive outlook on the music. "I Believe In Action" definitely moves back into the disco-esq sound, and if you're seeing anything other than swirling lights, you're doing it wrong. I need some glo-sticks stat people! Ha.. okay, just trying to cheer myself up at this point. It really is a funky, cool song.
"Over The Ocean" is downright trippy. Wooooo. Ah man, this is so much more of a later-week album than a Sunday-night-prep-for-work listen. This one slows down again, with instruments and even voices twisting amongst each other, sort of giving this odd wave sound. Wait, did I just hear "Over the ocean, we'll have a vodka"?? Okay, cool, give me reasons to like this... Yeah, here's a live version performed for Alternative Side at WFUV:
"Made To Be Old" picks it up just a little. Enough to get toes tapping again at least. The harmonies are obnoxiously familiar - and i can't place if that's a good thing or bad. The lyrics in all of these songs are sort of weird - I'm hoping it's just a rare occasion where I'm not listening intently enough and am just missing the things that would otherwise make it all make sense. This Brooklyn sound isn't meant to necessarily make complete sense though.
Whoa, is that a raw guitar sound I hear opening "How Do I Know?" This is like a California rock song! Talk about a fresh breath of air amongst the album! This is an excellent combo of two costs, with the aforementioned sound combined with the Brooklyn echo. The question of knowing if it's love or not throws a thrilling wrench into the whole song. BTW, if you're asking, you probably are. This question's a rare anomaly to the norm.
"Miracle Of Mary" is anything but thrilling. It's harder to hear, especially after that last one. I mean, there's clearly something there, lyrically, but this is one meant for the right place/time/mood, which is not now amongst the album. Here's a version that was recorded in Amsterdam:
Added To My Playlist:
- "I Believe In Action"
- "How Do I Know?"
Ok, reminder, once again, to self - never get overly-excited about any artist ever again. It only... ends... bad!!! (Moulin Rouge reference.... anyone? "Roxanne" intro? ANYONE??? Ugh.) Okay, so this wasn't god-awful - I've definitely heard worse. It just wasn't as good as expected. Had I actually made it to Bonnaroo, I probably would have laid out on a blanket for this one... or skipped for another band. *shrug*