Category : Vocal
The Opposite Side Of The Sea
I’m going to admit that I’m a little bit out of my league trying to review this Oren Lavie CD. No doubt it’s a wonderful collections of smoky, quirky, mellow tunes. And actually, there is a very good chance that you’ve already heard a song. The opening track, “Her Morning Elegance” was used in a Chevy Malibu commercial.
I know I got one reference correct immediately, even though it’s an easy one – Nick Drake‘s footprint is everywhere. Oren’s voice is hushed, even ragged sounding at times, which goes pretty well with the sparse arrangements. No pounding drums here. There are a lot of orchestral arrangements, at times a bit whimsical. Sometimes it reminds me of the strings on The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”. The other name that comes to mind is Leonard Cohen, though the songs aren’t as bleak. Also, uh, Sting? Beyond that, I’m afraid I’m going to have to let this one ride in the Ipod for a bit.
She Keeps Bees
Funny, I found this artist while looking up some info on The Finches whose show I caught awhile back at Silverlake Lounge. The link was to She Keeps Bees playing Cagematch on gootube – the band is basically Jessica Larrabee playing just about all the instruments from guitar to drums. It’s a Chan Marshall / Mia Doi Todd type of gritty folk/blues. I really liked the stripped down Cagematch song because it reminded me of Songs: Ohia (The Lioness?).
There’s a very raw and wounded sound to her voice. I liked the rest of the more fleshed out songs too, like Lucille which reminded me a bit of The Naysayer. Some really nice songs from this mostly home recorded first effort, “Minisink Hotel“.
Jessica is currently doing a tour with The Love Story
She Keeps Bees website
The Polyphonic Spree
Beginning Stages Of
If your idea of a great band is about 25-30 members dressed in the same long robes playing various different orchestral and non-orchestral instruments or singing in a rousing indie pop chorus, then The Polyphonic Spree may just be for you. This band truly does have a huge cast and does perform in suspiciously “cult-like” robes, but the sound that comes out of them is pretty amazing. A soaring chorus of voices backed by a modern day orchestra type sound a la Brian Wilson’s Smile. Crazy horns, whistles, bells, strings, gongs… you get the whole works.
I haven’t gotten their newer CD/DVD Together We’re Heavy, but I can certainly vouch for the tracks off of their amazing initial album The Beginning Stages Of The Polyphonic Spree. Tracks like Have A Day feature their typical dynamic buildup of instruments around a common theme, often only a few chords. The choral blasts on “It’s The Sun” give me chills.
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