For Days And Countries

(Photo by gregoryperez)

The sky is falling on my head here in North London. The heavens have opened after what seems months, and the rain has been plummeting for the last couple of hours. Our garden, starved of the rainy goodness it so desperately desires, has been kept up by the sheer willpower of my flatmate, and the fruit and veg are beginning to flow. The heatwave seems to suit the diddy little chilli pepper and the tomatoes seem to be doing very nicely thanks, marking a turnaround in fortunes, for me at least - I've killed almost every plant that I've come into contact with until now.

So what sort of thing suits the mood when the sky is pregnant with thunder and the clouds are black like they're auditioning for Romeo + Juliet. Well, I'm left to my own devices and purely out of curiosity I look at Band Of Horses playing The Funeral on David Letterman's show recently, and that's it. That's my day set out right there. The soaring yet ever so slightly cracking vocals have a beautiful edge which the picked guitar/organ combo only accentuates, and then when the place crashes down around your ears, that's the storm right there. It's an uplifting, soulful track, surprisingly so for a band that the blog world is going crazy over. OK, I'm a little cynical, I'll admit, but I've found little in the internet-buzz-driven oeuvre to really float my boat of late; Tapes'n'Tapes I find uninspiring, for example, and little else has grabbed my attention. Indie-rock, as it were, especially that of the North American ilk has seemed to base itself on the self-consciously quirky and leftfield stylings of bands like the Unicorns (who I can't stand). The exception, of course, has been the Arcade Fire, although even that took a little while to grow on me, and that's kind of where Band Of Horses come in.

Certainly they've been creating a buzz, which often puts me off, but like the Arcade Fire they've won me over with the sheer heart in their performance, and a sound that's not irresponsibly bold, or overpoweringly at odds with the perceived mainstream, but that manages to capture a dynamic that suits the lovely vocals very well. I don't think I'm the only one to have these sort of feelings, nor would it appear that I am the only one to have been won over, which says a lot about the band. It says a lot too that in truth, it's a fairly traditional loud-soft, stop-start dynamic, a sort of country-lite Pixies approach that's won them so many plaudits without any whiff of watering down.

Good luck to them then, I say, and I heartily recommend giving a listen to The Funeral. You wouldn't do badly to check out the other free tracks available via the Band's website and MySpace, and of course get the album - Everything All The Time, released on SubPop.

Band Of Horses - The Funeral
Band Of Horses - Bass Song (demo)

Buy Band Of Horses

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1 comment:

Rachel said...

Congratulations on the newly acquired green thumb...My parents were garden fanatics with not just green thumbs but green hands. I never really understood their love for it...Until recently, now I find my self looking forward to Saturday morning when I garden. :)

I couldn't agree with you more in regards to Band of Horses. They are one of those rare gems that only come around once in awhile...

Those who don't own this album should really sit down and think about their priorities.