Sunday, August 16, 2009

Music: The Uglysuit

Anyone searching for the album that becomes synonymous with the season they bought it has found what they're looking for with The Uglysuit's self-titled debut LP. It is the exact music equivalent of the surreal feeling of meeting someone new and having that first particularly good time with them.

The band consists of six friends from Oklahoma City who've been playing together for years, and the familiarity shows. They've dabbled in many different (many admittedly embarrassing) genres and fortunately found their way to this, whatever this is--it's been called dream pop, folk rock, psychadelic, brit-pop power anthem, but none of those seem to do it. I could shout a few bands at you (Flaming Lips, The Shins, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Decemberists, Polyphonic Spree), but I prefer to call it what it is--densely-layered shimmering guitars, soaring pianos, rich waves and walls of sound, simple yet evocative and touching lyrics, and wait, is that an accordion? Also, Israel Hindman's breathy vocals are perfectly suited (pardon the pun)--if Conor Oberst or Elliott Smith were ever momentarily overwhelmed by joy and a profound appreciation for the beauty and possibility of life, it might sound like this.

Kicking off with the breezy, atmospheric "Brownblue's Passing," the album takes you on a truly incredible journey, notably passing through the infinitely-catchy single ("Chicago"), and two legitimately epic explorations ("And We Become Sunshine," "Everyone Now Has a Smile"). However, that's about all I want to or can say. The places this album takes you, real and imagined, will be entirely yours.

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