Category : Instrumental
Beltline is a Portland area band that offer up a heady mix of a number of styles including eclectic indie rock and more sparsely populated alt country music. They have succeeded in combing the cameradrie mindset of big band porch rockers like Lambchop with an edgier rock attitude that shines forth in their songs. Instruments like cello and vibraphone make a frequent appearance and add a lot of personality to the tracks. The band centers around the nice vocals of Rob Jones but includes a revolving crew of indie stalwarts from bands like The Decemberists.
Father I See
People who try to combine any sort of traditionalism and piano work will often get lumped either into the New Age category a la George Winston or stand-up Jerry Lee Lewis revivalists like Ben Folds Five. Not Liam Singer. I dug his track “Father I See” because it’s soft minimal tones often seem to be inspired from great modern classical masters but never copy them overtly. This is modern sounding enough, and certainly not piano bar room brawl stuff. There is some beautiful and haunting keyboard work here.
I know some people are going to say P. Glass but I don’t really see that so much. I think he has more in common with some of the newer Earlimart piano songs and his vocal on “Father I See” is very good. I’m almost reminded of Elliott Smith sometimes.
Continue reading “Liam Singer – Father I See” …
The Album Leaf
Into The Blue Again
The Album Leaf continue their winning semi-instrumental ways with their latest offering “Into The Blue Again”. Well, we should really say that Jimmy LaValle continues the winning ways, since he’s the only member. And a busy one at that… he’s had his hand in the following other pies: Tristeza, Black Heart Procession and Iceland’s Sigur Ros. Good company he’s keeping there.
I like to describe Album Leaf as instrumental electronic music that doesn’t suck. It neatly avoids heavy beat-driven drivel while remaining musically coherent enough to stay out of the deep space Flying Saucer Attack end. A lot of people are going to say, “hmm… Chicago post-rock instrumental?” I don’t really hear that though.
LaValle subtle use of strings, piano and other live instrument textures seems to contribute well to the overall feel. The end result is a creamy soundscape that remains chipper enough not to drown you to sleep. Along with his trademark electric piano hallmarks sprinkled throughout the tracks, we’re now treated to honest-to-god vocals. And though still a rarity in the songs, having a few words now and then fits in pretty nicely with the overall soundscape.
Selected Albums on Itunes: