08 March 2008

Music IS my aeroplane!

If I were to try to describe how I've felt today, I really could just point out the window at the rainy and all-encompassing gray. That would pretty much sum it up.

But, like always, my music is there for me. I'd been teetering on buying Dove's Some Cities since it's release... in 2005. I bit the bullet a couple weeks ago and have slapped my forehead numerous times, wondering why - oh why - hadn't I bought it sooner, rather than merely surviving on the several singles I had? I've been a fan of Doves for years (though apparently not enough to buy what is arguably their best album to date), as they're the artist behind one of my favorite songs of all time: "Pounding." They blend electronic elements with a solid rock base. Some Cities is cohesive but not homogeneous. The title track immediately hooks you with a beat that compels your head to bounce from side to side. The rest of the album is really great, as well. Doves do the English rock thing with a bit of fire and light inside, which keeps it exciting and prevents it from becoming waterlogged and overly-moody - symptoms from which many English bands tragically suffer.

And due to a case of mistaken identity, I ended up falling for The National. A week or so ago I was talking to Rob about Arcade Fire and "what is the freaking big deal with them?" I had thought The National was under that same heading of Over-Appreciated, Mediocre Bands along with The Shins (who aren't terrible) and Sufjan Stevens (who is pretty terrible). I checked The National out on iTunes to see if I was right and I was, happily, not. I was covered in SHAME. And then musical goodness.

Upon first listening, there's a little bit of Interpol in there (specifically, "Mistaken For Strangers")... but then, it's gone. I bought one song from Boxer... and then another... and then completed the album. Anytime you have some sort of epiphany during the second listening of a song, you should probably just roll with it. That song was "Fake Empires." The piano and marching beat carries you away to a better euphonic place, and the lead singer's smooth but expressive baritone pulls you in - hard.

The serendipitous similarity between Doves and The National that I just now realized is that they both have songs that sort of put a metaphorical warm hand on your shoulder. A nice feeling for a rainy day.

Doves - Some Cities (Rich Costey's Remix)
The National - Fake Empires

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