I’m at a lost when it comes to what I want to write about these days. I thought maybe I would go back to talking about Mew (again), or gush inappropriately about Michael Cera, my latest underaged romance fantasy fix. Then I got a copy of Zounds from the holy folks at Dangerbird Records, and it becomes a slightly different story.
Zounds is the new album from Australian Art-pop/Prog-rock indie darlings, Dappled Cities (Fly). I do not know why they dropped the “Fly” from their name eventually, maybe because they just stopped caring?
The thing is, if I were to hear Zounds in a cafe, I would have thought they were someone else altogether. The music is sometimes akin to The Arcade Fire (The night is young at heart), The Walkmen (Stepshadows), with an echo of Grizzly Bear in Wooden Ships and a little dash of Interpol (Don’t stop there, Miniature Alas). It’s a little bit of everything rolled up in one, like a neopolitan indie love fest.
Thoughts about originality aside, this is one impressive love fest. The album is best at its most foggy bits and this is perfectly illustrated in the murky track, Wooden Ships, a song with a dramatically enveloping sound, sending out stereo waves at dark, charismatic frequencies. In Stepshadows, the vocalist sings like a tired man exasperated by the pleasures before his eyes, unveiling a nice little Tim Burtonesque/Edward Scissorhands moment in the album
Despite being somewhat boring at times, there are no shortages of angsty strings, emo time signatures and salty synthesizers. A few surprises lend a defining hand to the bands’ overall talent of mixing the cosmically cool with a good spirit. With tracks like Hold your back, Don’t stop there and Middle People, you’re listening to some earnest, down-to-earth music, but then out of nowhere, you see Keyboard Kat playing in the background.
Though Zounds is somewhat of a dark album, at the end of it, Dappled Cities have broken new ground by clearing up the indies skies a little, sending out a big message on how to lose some of the wires, but bring back more of the fire.
Picture taken from http://www.ozarts.com.au