I love when people turn me onto new bands especially odd ones , even though this is their 5th release, until I got this promo in my mailbox I never even knew they existed. After listening to this cd, oh I know they exist now, and want to hear more. The obvious question is what do they sound like? Well for starters, they are a 3 piece with members Michael Laird, Natalia Lincoln and Ericah Hagle that each of the three seem to blend their voices into each song. What about the cd? This cd sounds like a soundscape of medieval and renaissance instruments almost to a caressing harmony of vocals with acoustic guitars, and maybe keyboards/piano. This music seems so influenced by late 60’s early 70’s progressive pop like if The Carpenters met Yes in classic composition. Or better yet a medieval Belle and Sebastian, without having that much in common with any of them.
The biggest shocker to this cd besides how much I loved it, were the cover songs. They do Kathy’s Song by Apotyma Berzerk which was very odd but yet very mystical and beautiful at the same time. But, not as the odd as the next cover song, holy fuck they do Van Halen’s Running with the Devil. This is the best cover song since Rasputina did Barracuda by Heart. Now picture this, a female soothing voice with male backup almost to a whisper (like something you would expect from Nouvelle Vague) over acoustic guitar doing this song.
This cd song by song is such a unexpected joy, and this sublime almost confusing blend of folk, classical and some dark new age just works. This cd seems to be pointing towards yesterday’s sounds but it has today’s lyrics. The voices that can be almost credited to do some choir of heavenly voices over a weird concoction of musical instrumentation that just work. This cd comes across as some kind of message, or better yet a commentary that music can still be challenging and really satisfying without having to rely on studio tricks and catchy melodies. This is by far one of the most unusual yet beautiful cds I have heard this year.
I really liked this band, and I need to now listen to the other 4 releases prior to this, I am a fan. This is 15 songs, 45 minutes of just pure creativity and something unique that you do not hear every day. While this cd has glimpses here and there of a reminder of other bands and singers, make no mistake about it this band is an island all of its own. What a really cool change of pace from the norm. Projekt Records have hit a home run.
8 out of 10