The best album released in 2011 by a west coast indie-baroque-folk hybrid bearded quintet (although rather worryingly Robin Peckfold has shaved and cut his hair). I wanted to listen to this in the snow last week, but I was too late and I ended up listening to it surrounded by grey slush. I put it on today, wow, this is such a great album. The Shine/An Argument was getting some serious rotation in the car today, and I am not kidding I had goosebumps, huge ones. I felt sorry for everyone sitting in traffic next to me, listening to their X Factor compilations, (I could tell by their dead eyes) I wanted to wind my window down and say hey mate, just listen to this for a minute, your day will get so much better.
Micro review: Probably as perfect as an album can get, Novocain for the soul, well, maybe more like pipe tobacco.
Hidden gem: Someone You’d Admire
If the Fleet Foxes were a season, which one would they be? You try going around stopping people in the street in Newcastle and asking those kinds of questions you will undoubtedly get slapped. Such is the Geordie dislike of idiots asking dumb questions about west coast indie-baroque-folk hybrid quintets. But it is a serious question, as I think it is a very wintery album (and I was only slapped once).
This album sounds like music from a different age, yet also contemporary and relevant. And they look great, like a bunch of Vietnam vets. stepping off a Saigon Airways plane circa 1973. It was sweet re-visiting this album today as I haven’t played it all for a good year or so. And what a sleeve, nice to see bands who care about album artwork, as many don’t now.
Blue Ridge Mountains is my stand out track, but White Winter Hymnal and Tiger Mountain Peasant Song run a very close second. Heard Them Stirring is the hidden gem though, talk about harmonies, they even make the Beach Boys sound bland and one dimensional.
Here is my three word review; beards, guitars, harmonies.