Friday, June 5, 2009

What We're Listening To - Other Lives self-titled album

Rainy days need soundtracks.

I'm sure somewhere it's sunny right now, but it's drizzly and miserable in Shimmy Shake world HQs. For sure, I wish it wasn't.

I jacked in my iPod and hit shuffle. And came across Other Lives, and album I downloaded a few months ago but had totally forgotten about.

And maybe it's the rain, and just a sad set of circumstances, but this is one of the best albums of the year.

The best way to describe this music is to listen to the post-Bends acoustic musings of Radiohead. It's haunting but scary, all the times melodic, very precise and richly textured.

The album starts off on kind of a downer, which is probably why is sat on my iPod for so many weeks unloved and unlistened to.

(Listen bands, choose your track order wisely. You need to hook listeners in.)

But then the album hits that Radiohead comparison I was talking about. Don't Let Them is like Thom Yorke and Jeff Buckley got together, got drunk, and laid down some tracks.

Speed Tape reminds me of some of the prettier moments of Boys For Pele, but the claustrophobia and loneliness of OK Computer. The tinkling on the piano, the cello, the the jangly guitar. Hell, the shakers that make their way in after the bridge seem to build this acoustic wall that just falls in on top of you.

Sounds like a lot? It is. But it's a gorgeous ride.

The album closer, Epic, is just as preciously constructed as the other tracks. It builds and builds, until it finally closes up.

Perfect for rainy days.

Monday, June 1, 2009

To our friend Shelby on his birthday

We wanted to take a moment and wish Shelby Miller, the host of Shifted Sound, a warm and happy birthday.

Normally we don't do stuff like this (isn't that what Facebook walls are reserved for) but Shelby has been an inspiration and driving force behind The Shimmy Shake. He has turned me on to some wonderful music over the past two years, and the least I could do for the man is thank him on my blog, and wish him a happy birthday.

Shelby, you're one of a kind good sir. Thanks for all the recs (even the bad ones).