Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Fork in the Road

Today was one of those days where I couldn't decide what I wanted to listen to, so I went to and looked at their Best New Music section. Now, because Pitchfork likes to only review bands that no one has heard of, its generally (sic) hard for me to find their recommendations on Rhapsody. But, I managed to find two today, so I gave them a twirl.

The first up was the Evangelical's So Gone.

As the album first fired up with a wall of screeching static and white-noise feedback, I though I was going to be listening to another band like M83. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually can appreciate M83 and think they have some geniunely beautiful and amazing songs. But, at the same time, there's a distance to their music that demands I be in a certain type of mood to listen to it.

Then, the songs started to take on an almost The Flaming Lips character. And I began to fear that this was going to be another Freak-Folk album that Pitchfork seems to be in love with, but which I'm still havig trouble getting into.

But, then I started to think of them as an Americana version of Radiohead*, and I started to warm up to them a bit more.

Are the Evangelicals as good as any of those bands? Probably not. But, if you enjoy some of the common themes that flow between them, I'd recommend you give these guys a spin. I certainly enjoyed them more the second listen through.

Next up was Camera Obscura's Let's Get Out of this Country.

This is the type of album that the Graphic Designer in me wants to like just because of its album art. Just like Islands album Return to the Sea. There's just something about striking photographic** covers that makes me want to make an album my best friend regardless of the quality of the actual music.

Luckily, Camera Obscura's new album isn't half bad. It probably won't be my new best friend, but its easy on the ears in a sort of "Belle and Sebastian but with sadder lyrics primarily sung by a female" sort of way. (For the record, the Islands album ain't half bad either.)

So, all in all, not a bad day of stealing recommendations from Pitchfork. I know nothing about either band, but enjoyed by albums. And, I'm finding music to be a nice change after listening to soccer crowds roar all morning. Go Ghana (well, now that USA's eliminated at least)!

Evangelical's "So Gone"

Camera Obscura's "Let's Get Out of this Country"

*The only Radiohead that Rhapsody features is Karaoke... so have fun with that link.

**Yes, I know that the Islands album isn't a photograph, but just work with me here. What did you want me to do, throw out what tattered music cred I do have and use David Gray's last album cover as my example?

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