Friday, August 20, 2010

Plants & Animals: Parc Avenue

(Author's note: I didn't technically buy this in 2010, but I bought it right before a New Year's Eve road trip, so I'm going to count it.)

I stumbled across Plants & Animals in the summer of '09, as I was falling deeply in love with the music of Patrick Watson.  I wanted to find out more about Mr. Watson, and the interwebs told me about his label, Secret City, which led me to his labelmates P&A.  Best accidental discovery ever!

Their debut album, Parc Avenue, is 11 tracks of goodness (well, 10 tracks; I don't like the finale).  A few tracks on Parc have jam-band tendencies, but that's not a bad thing in this case.  The track "Faerie Dance" stands out in that regard, clocking in at just over seven minutes long (more than eight minutes live, apparently), and has three distinct movements in the same song. Absolutely gorgeous.

The jam-band tendencies don't overrun the album, not by a long shot (and the most jam-bandy song is the last track on the album, so I can easily avoid it).  In fact, the lyrics are just as much of a selling point as the beautiful music itself.  The track "Good Friend" comes to mind.  The first time I heard the line, "I want to wake up and see your shoes in the stairwell," I was sold.  He doesn't tell you the how they got there, or why they are there, but it's fabulously mysterious. You can stream there entire album here.  Do it do it.

P&A also have a bit of Edward Sharpe in 'em; that is, they've got a bit of a '70s gypsy band vibe at times.  And that's also not a bad thing.  Listen for yourself:

Grade: A- 
Blurb: A fun band with an expansive sound and good lyrical storytelling.  Probably the most under-the-radar album from 2008.

No comments:

Post a Comment