Sunday, January 28th, 2007
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 64
|The Earlies / The Enemy Chorus (Secretly Canadian)
The second release from bi-continental outfit The Earlies (members reside in both Texas and the UK) is the first properly conceived as an album – their debut, These Were The Earlies, was actually a compilation of singles and EPs though it hung together remarkably well as a whole. This time around, they continue mining their distinct vein of psychedelia that blends pastoral English pop with some twangy southwestern seasoning, but darker and a touch more menacing than that description might imply. The shadow of Pink Floyd still hangs heavy over things, though only if you make Waters a few hundred shades more mellow and Gilmour a few hundred shades less noodly and throw in a penchant for orchestration and some world music influences. Which is to say it doesn’t really sound like Pink Floyd at all. But it is simultaneously dense and sprawling (contradictory adjectives, if you think about it) and almost certainly requires more than a few listens to properly absorb.
|David Vandervelde / The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian)
It’s apparently some sort of rule that everything written about this young Chicagoan whippersnapper must include the words “T-Rex” or “Marc Bolan”. And for the first few songs of this record, that seems pretty apt – the songs rock and swagger so hard you can practically hear how tight his jeans are. But after that opening glam salvo, things get much more interesting – from channeling some last-call lounge singer overtop a richly orchestrated backing to hooktacular classic pop and strummy balladry. It’s all got a decidedly retro tinge to it but Vandervelde touches a remarkable number of stylistic bases over the course of eight songs and 32 minutes. There’s a lot more in his (top) hat than you might expect, though that looks pretty good on him, too.
Check out Vandervelde’s recent session for Daytrotter.