Sunday, July 16th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 41
|Midlake / The Trials Of Van Occupanther (Bella Union)
There’s something unrelentingly 70s about Denton, Texas’ Midlake. I mean, I was born in 1975 so don’t remember much of the decade at all, let alone the music, and I don’t listen to a lot of music of that vintage but that notwithstanding, there’s something about this record that simply SCREAMS 70s. Maybe it’s the production, maybe it’s the instrumentation, maybe it’s the fact that it’s a prog-folk concept album or that the title is The Trials Of Van Occupanther. But all that notwithstanding, Trials, out out July 25, is lightly trippy and extremely mellow – even when it gets uptempo, it stays almost frustratingly laid back. Despite my general indifference, a lot of folks are quite enamored of this record. Maybe I’ll get it more after seeing them live when they’re at Lee’s Palace on July 31 supporting The Hold Steady. They may or may not take the stage wearing capes.
|Fiel Garvie / Caught Laughing (Words On Music)
Hailing from Norwich in the east of England, Fiel Garvie backs up her Anne Reekie’s shy, whispery (and maybe slightly creepy) smile of a voice with some exquisite chamber pop arrangements that give their sound a distinctive dreamy, timeless, fairy tale-ish quality that you don’t hear so much of these days. They actually remind a bit of The Concretes but more deliberately baroque and timeless than cribbing from a Motown fake book. The tempo rarely gets above a slow canter but there’s no need to rush through something this pretty.
|Low Skies / All The Love I Could Find (Flameshovel)
Chris Salveter, frontman and singer for Chicago’s Low Skies, goes for that staggering, drunk at 3AM, howling at the moon vocal style which is a fine line to try and walk. When he hits, he’s soulful and intense and the result is everything that blend of beer and tears in your mug would want it to be. When it doesn’t, it’s grating and out of tune and you just wanna throw him in the back of the cab without getting puke on your shoes. His bandmates do a solid job of crafting a suitably slow and hazy backdrop for his barstool philosophizing, rich in atmosphere and a sepia, dusty twang.
np – Hot Chip / The Warning