The Belle Jar- Union Station
Mar 5, 2014
Of Montreal has amassed a large fan base as a result of their acclaimed 2007 record Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?. They shifted from an originally Elephant 6 sound to a more accessible electronica-pop modulation. Although they might have changed their instruments to accommodate Kevin Barnes' vision, the underlying musical ideas still go hand-in-hand with bands like Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Elf Power. Toward the end of his 2007 album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, frontman Kevin Barnes introduced his inner alter-ego named Georgie Fruit. One year later, this alter-ego is completely entrenched in the album Skeletal Lamping, turning it into a conglomeration of experimental R&B, glam rock, and Scissor Sisters-styled sex-funk.
Just as puzzling as his alter-ego, Georgie Fruit, is the album. Skeletal Lamping is elaborate and extravagant. Every song is composed of multiple snippets of musical ideas, sometimes juxtaposing ideas that are completely different in style. Some songs spill into others connecting effortlessly and unrestrained.
So is the album good or bad? Unfortunately it's not that clear-cut. Songs like "Nonpareil Of Favor" illustrate Barnes' attempt to throw every misconstruing idea into a pot, expecting Hissing Fauna. One might enjoy some of the segments, but as a whole it doesn't give you the sugary melodies seen in his previous albums. However, songs like "An Eluardian Instance" shine brightly out of the album as one of his best pieces of musical artwork. By using an array of instruments to convey several musical parts of the abstract, Barnes creates a cheeky pop, self-indulgent masterpiece.
It all comes down to whether or not one is willing to tolerate Barnes' unstrained ambition toward "the beyond." Depending on your musical patience, Skeletal Lamping can be an irresistibly polarizing album or, for you more conservative types, an overly pretentious album reeking of self-accolade.
Check out the band's video for "Id Engager" below!
The 88's name is derived from a number of things involving the number 88. There are 88 keys on a piano and 88 cities in California. They live in one of them. It's Los Angeles, where music is plentiful. The 88 have made a name for themselves with Beatle-like lyrics and a relaxing musical feel. The 88 is prime for success with their songs popping up all over television. They were recently featured on iTunes for their free single of the week promotion. The 88 indepently released their first album, Over and Over. Island Records signed them for Not Only...But Also, and they're bound for big things.
The 88 can be listened to during almost any instance. Their output fits the category of "good music," and that's all a band can ask for.
Check out their video for "Go Go Go" below!
Combining the haunting swell of Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) with the timeless lyrics of Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), frontman Matthew Milia creates images of the backwoods in the minds of the listener. Musically speaking, Frontier Ruckus finds common ground with a wide spectrum of bands including The Music Tapes and fellow Michiganians Anathallo.
The band's debut album, The Orion Songbook, will be released November 6 on Quite Scientific Records.
Check out the homemade video for "Animals Need Animals":
Composed of thirty, yes thirty, band members, I’m From Barcelona is best described as a collective. Although the band’s name isn’t meant literally (they actually hail from Sweden), they burst onto the indie radar in 2006, with their debut album Let Me Introduce My Friends. The band continues in the footsteps of their debut with “Paper Planes”, the first single off of Who Killed Harry Houdini? Sounding like a mixture of a choir and an orchestra, the band has created an eccentric masterpiece.
Anthony Green, no stranger to the stage, has previously played in Saosin, The Sounds of Animals Fighting & Circa Survive (as well as many other bands). His current solo project contains a collection of songs Anthony has written over the past 5 years of his life. Many fans have fallen in love with some of these songs year after year when they surprisingly pop up at impromptu acoustic sets in venue parking lots across the nation after Circa Survive shows. These songs are now finally being recorded and released together for the first time as Avalon.
Avalon has the same feel that any work by Anthony Green does with his signature vocals but with a more pop feel than his previous work. There is not a whole lot of material on the record that begs for widespread commercial success, but the record is still immediately likable and catchy in the simplest of ways. This acoustic/folk album is a great listen to all fans and is something you can relax to.
Check out his video for "Dear Child (I've Been Dying To Reach You)" below!!!
The Spinto Band is an indie rock band out of Delaware. Formed in 1997, Moonwink is their sixth album, and first on Park The Van Records. Moonwink presents fun tracks that are easy to dance to and sing along with, where their previous album, Nice and Nicely Done, exhibited more folk-influenced tracks. The six person band can be compared to Oh No! Oh My!, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, and arguably Vampire Weekend.
Check out their video for "Summer Grof":
With an alt-country vibe paired with the delirious 12-year old boy sounding cry of Whitney, Jaguar Love makes their own sound but stay close to their roots. Re-writing the genre rulebook with tracks sounding like neo-classic rock, pop and techno, they are edgy and perfect.