Friday, May 21, 2010

The city resonates; we hum along

The Paper Raincoat
I used to play the bells in high school and college (for those who lack a certain concert-band savvy, "the bells" are a lot like the xylophone, but with metal keys – the marching version of the bells is better known as the glockenspiel, or the "glock" in nerd parlance), and as a result I am somewhat partial to pop music that incorporates that character-building instrument. Also, you know I like happy music, and there is no such thing as a sad song that features the bells.

For this reason, and many others, I am love love loving the debut album from The Paper Raincoat. Thanks to the ever-wonderful Paste Magazine, you can stream the whole album right now and even download the first two tracks, the charming "Right Angles" and "Sympathetic Vibrations." Each week, they will give away another track from the album, so collect come back often enough and you'll collect the entire album! (If you can't wait that long, go ahead and download it here.

The sound is alternately lush and symphonic and then charmingly intimate, full orchestra with strings one moment, then pizzicato violins and the bells ringing out happily the next. Gorgeous layered harmonies between Amber Rubarth and Alex Wong keep the music from sounding too twee.

I am totally and completely smitten with the album's only a cappella song, "Rewind." You just have to hear it to understand. In the meantime, check out a live performance of the excellent "Brooklyn Blurs" on the Luxury Wafers Sessions:

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