Shearwater – Jet Plane And Oxbow

Although no stranger to 1980s influences, with his deep love of Talk Talk (as declared eloquently on these very pages in fact), Jonathan Meiburg has never fully co-opted the aesthetics of the said decade. Perhaps encouraged by the positive rehabilitation of previously maligned period production values and stylistic shticks by the likes of The War … [Read more...]

Shearwater – Fellow Travelers

Although there is no doubting the sincerity and artistic ambition that Jonathan Meiburg has invested whilst leading the ornithologically-obsessed Shearwater over the last decade, the band’s oeuvre has sometimes lacked in easy nesting places for newcomers needing to acclimatise to the contradictory fusion of the ornate and the austere.  This new … [Read more...]

No Age – An Object

Probably the most immediate aspect about noise-rock duo No Age’s music is not so much their immediacy (for lack of a better word) but the ability to juxtapose that noise with ambient bliss that never seems to lack intensity. Bands like Deerhunter used to do it more prevalently (see Cryptograms) but throughout Nouns and Everything in Between, No Age … [Read more...]

Low – The Invisible Way

Although they’re definitely against their oft-described ‘slowcore’ description, the music of Low has always seemed fitting for this title. With nine previous albums already under their belt, the duo of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have remained a constant figure and their vocals, along with their even-tempered music, have always maintained Low’s … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#26 (Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg on Laughing Stock)

Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg on... Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock (Verve/Polydor, 1991) It was the depths that drew me in.  I woke up under a wool coat on the floor at a friend’s house during one of our early tours to the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of a needle dropping onto an LP - and then the first muted trumpet note and violin … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#25 (Wooden Wand’s James Jackson Toth on No Silver/No Gold)

Wooden Wand’s James Jackson Toth on… The Baptist Generals’ No Silver/No Gold (Sub Pop, 2003) No Silver/No Gold is the best album Sub Pop ever released. It is a perfect American record, and a huge inspiration. I don’t remember how I heard about Baptist Generals, but I was on board pretty early. I think the album was in a crate of CDs that … [Read more...]

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

The rule book of music is obviously not a precise art. The album is even now largely overlooked and still, bands like Fleet Foxes continue to deliver music built around some of its most basic fundamentals: great vibes with great people with great minds. It's very well known just how huge the band has gotten since their first, much heralded, album … [Read more...]

J Mascis – Several Shades of Why

After they had made their return to fame with 2007’s stellar Beyond, Dinosaur Jr. was easily identified as one of the best line-ups of musicians around. Headlining that outfit is singer/guitarist J Mascis, whose unique style has already proven that he is without doubt, one of the finest guitarists around. And with 2009’s Farm, the trio proved that … [Read more...]

Wolf Parade – Expo 86

Damn, what the hell has happened to 2010? Where has it come and gone and where is it going to go next and honestly, could it really get any better? I mean, if we could potentially even detach ourselves from the moment – don’t see why anyone would want to anyway – don’t you believe that in some kind of objective fashion, we could say that 2010 is … [Read more...]

Blitzen Trapper – Destroyer of the Void

After the success that Furr had found them, Blitzen Trapper was poised with an extremely considerable amount of attention. Here was a band that had started out with modest goals and ambitions, and through re-creating themselves with every new album they had also gained a sincere reputation as being an impeccably skillful band. They knew how to … [Read more...]