Siamo onesti: in realtà i brani più rappresentativi dei Seam di Sooyoung Park (già nei Bitch Magnet) dovrebbero essere “Sweet Pea” e “Bunch” (tratte dall’album più riuscito, “The Problem With Me“, e l’ultima in coda al post con un video). Eppure per chi ama (l’ordine è casuale) basket, musica, college, North Carolina ed NCAA è impossibile non indicare “King Rice“, dal primo disco “Headsparks”. Una canzone dedicata ad un playmaker (King Rice appunto, attualmente, credo, Assistant Coach a Vanderbilt) da un fantastico gruppo di Chapel Hill. Difficile chiedere di più.
Un passato nascosto (ma con quattro album ed un Ep) per una miscela post affine a quella degli Explosions In The Sky. La partenza dei Saxon Shore, però, non è il Texas, ma Philadelphia. Nel 2009 è uscito “It Doesn’t Matter” ed ad inizio anno si potranno vedere live al Bronson di Ravenna. Un brano come “Nothing Changes” è una discreta presentazione.
Dilatazioni esotico/strumentali, spesso ipnotiche, sempre ricercate nella loro evoluzione. “Extended Vacation” (Dead Oceans) scatta di lato rispetto ad altri dischi riferibili a dimensioni in bilico fra ambient e post. Non avanti, perchè nel concreto la sperimentazione non osa mai troppo, ma da una parte, perchè tenta un percorso personale laddove troppi si incagliano nelle stesse acque.
“Falling Down A Mountain” è il seguito di “The Hungry Saw”. Sempre per Constellation (nel Nord America), con l’aggiunta della griffe 4AD (tutto il mondo che resta).
Il disco uscirà a metà febbraio 2010. “Black Smoke” ne è un anticipo.
After releasing two records and a half (given that “Something/Everything” was credited to Jason Anderson/Wolf Colonel) under the “Wolf Colonel” moniker, Jason Anderson decided it was high time to use his own name and not to hide behind a band’s name. This decision lead him to the release of his most sincere, complete, and satisfying record to date, “New England” (K Records).
The album was produced by Phil Elvrum of The Microphones/Mount Eeerie and features 11 songs of warm and cohesive beauty. Anderson wears his heart on his sleeve and lets us into his universe made of thoughtful lyrics, gentle acoustic music, and subtle and intriguing arrangements.
From the inspired duet between Anderson and Elvrum (”You Fall”), where their voices intertwine so perfectly over acoustic guitar strums, piano chords, and drums, to yet another heartbreaking duet between Anderson and Mirah (”A Book Laid on its Binding,” a song written by Joe Knapp of Omaha’s Son Ambulance), New England strikes a chord with me and makes me want to isolate myself from the rest of the world for a couple of hours to truly appreciate the intricacies at work. The wonderful “Hold” even features a gospel-like chorus of what sounds like the entire K Records family singing along . The overall feeling of the album is melancholic and autumnal, and a song written by Phil Elvrum, “Thanksgiving” (this songs is also on The Microphones’ album “Live in Japan, Feb. 19th, 21st and 22nd 2000”) fits in perfectly with the mood, as does the intimate folk rock of such songs as “I Want My Summer Back” and “So Long.”
If you are looking for honest, heartfelt, and beautiful folk rock and indie pop music, all you have to do is head to New England, call a nice guy named Jason Anderson, and enjoy all his wonderful songs!
Barzin was so kind to send me a poem he recently wrote. It is unreleased.
I have sat on leather sofas
waited in waiting rooms
in subways stations.
I have dreamt of limbs
of soft eyes
Autumn went by without me
the yellow leaves piling
higher and higher.
I had so much to say then
I had so much to say
yet I saved them for a day like today.
I have forgotten everything
The problem with the heart
is that it wants the world.
It wants everything:
fresh laundry on Sundays
avocados and French baguettes
girls in long leather boots
ruby cunts to kiss
a house to call its own
and Death, yes even Death.
It wants a simple, quiet death.
These days I am distracted
one step behind my deeds
sleeping walking through a fog
thinking too much about loneliness
and as always someone else’s voice has
gotten caught in my thoughts
and I mistake it for my own.
I still fall in love
wherever I go.
Ah, the beauty that is so close to touch
yet always out of reach.
Where is the girl who lay beside me last year?
Whose arms is she in tonight?
Who is picking flowers for her hair?
Maybe I’ll go to Paris.
The city of forgetfulness.
The unreal city.
Since forming in 1994, Valencia (Spain)-based Polar has written and played music while constantly increasing its fanbase in the musicians’ own country.
You can easily understand the reason why Polar’s music is well worth investigation upon hearing the band’s album “Comes With A Smile”, released by the Spanish label Jabalina. You will be fascinated by Polar’s sublime melodies, delicate instrumentation, beautiful arrangements, and equally beautiful vocals.
The album opens with the instrumental “Red Leaves Falling.” A soundtrack to an imaginary movie, this song shines with its gentle guitar strums and haunting melodies. “No Chances” is possibly one of the most moving song I’ve ever heard. At its beginning, the slow pace creates a rare atmosphere almost as impercetible as silence, and when the vocals finally kick in I realize that no other band had ever followed in the footsteps of Galaxie 500 so well.
“Home” showcases richer guitar textures, and it’s the most powerful track of the album in a way that The New Year fans will truly appreciate. “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” is obviously inspired by Sam Peckinpah’s movie. The sound is warm and the arrangements are nothing more than perfect, while the strings and harmonica played by singer and guitarist Jesus de Santos will break your heart into pieces. “Understand” has a long instrumental intro. Strings are brought in to flesh out some of the most memorable melodies you’re going to hear, and the drumming is subliminal and hypnotic. I played this song hundreds of times, and the more I listen to it the more I like it.
Produced and mixed by Stuart Nicol and Marcus Mackay (The Zephyrs’ singer and drummer) at the Glaswegian Diving Bell Lounge Studios, “Comes With A Smile” is a diverse, compelling, and wonderful record.