The Sun Sawed In Half “Elephants Into Swans”
It’s great to have one of my favorite bands from the 90’s return to form – The St. Louis based group led by guitar-loving brothers Ken (bass) and Tim Rose (lead). Back in the Not Lame heyday, they were a similar to Crowed House (another brotherly duo) but with a Jellyfish-like sense of melody and pitch perfect harmonies.
Well with Elephants into Swans, the band picks up where it left off, “You’re Into Something” gives us a minor chord melody with glorious horn flourishes. The title track is another jaunty melody with the kitchen sink thrown in – harmonies abound, almost to prove they haven’t missed a step. I did notice many more key changes in these songs, the lively chorus of “Brittle Star” being one example. The songs are great ear candy, but won’t exactly stick in your head immediately. Of course the exceptions are everywhere – the dreamy “Countess I Fear Something’s Wrong” with its chorus “they stole your song” oozing subtext. And the joyous “She Offers Her Heart” and amazing “You’re Getting Warm” are high points for me. Its not all perfect, the ambitious “Hobby Horse” doesn’t quite work. However, the Rose brothers stuff this LP with just enough gems that it merits inclusion into my 2013 best of list. Spend at least a week with this one.
Magatha Trysty “Your Clothes Will Wear Themselves”
This Chicago band is the husband-wife team of Catherine Louise and Chris Bevard. This debut is a sure footed indie pop with a shared male-female vocal, that opens with the bouncy “Want To Stay,” with its catchy hummable chorus.
It also reminded me of 90’s bands like Velocity Girl, Til Tuesday or The Crash Test Dummies (without the Brad Roberts bass-baritone). On “Clairvoyant” Catherine really channels early Aimee Mann, and both “Brighter” and “Be Safe” are excellent songs. The group lets loose on “Sunday Dress” with new wave beats and shimmering guitar riffs. Uncommonly strong debut that deserves your attention.