Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys

Looking at my picks of the week over the past 5 weeks I feel like I've unfairly been discriminating against bands of the rock/pop genre. There's been a couple of big collective type bands (Rah Rah, Bruce Peninsula), a couple of more ambient-atmospheric types (Animal Collective, The Antlers), but I suppose there was Ketch Harbour Wolves... nevermind...

... although this album, Endless Water by the Darcys stands out in my mind as being very different from KHWs, and here's why.... I think....

I had heard the Darcys myspace songs before I went to go check them out opening for Bruce Peninsula/Tom Fun Orchestra and they blew me away live. I just was not expecting them to be that good, and they were that good. Maybe part of my, admittedly low, expectations was that I was listening through my computer speakers (which are terrible), but part of it has to be that the Darcys are a live band recorded. And that's not to say that Endless Water is not worth hearing, because it absolutely is; but more that I expect that EW is an album that isn't going to grab you right away.

I mean, half the reason that the Darcys aren't going to grab you (and I think the reason it didn't grab me) is because the Darcys just kind of sound like a band. I mean, imagine a bunch of people you know started a band... they'd sound like the Darcys. But I think what makes the band worth listening to is the way they are able to build songs, layer their instruments, and hit you with those moments where the vocal harmonies sound like Thom Yorke's take on the Beach Boys.

In contrast, KHW's (free) debut EP, Dead Calm Horizon, is album that from the first minute its easy to see what they're doing and you'll either love them (which is likely) or you won't (far less likely).

The take home message:
The Darcys and their album Endless Water are Toronto's answer to Montreal's Plants and Animals Parc Avenue. I'm not sure the album really captures how good they were/are live, but its certainly worth your time...

[mp3] The Darcys - Strange Fits
[mp3] The Darcys - Ultra

and just for comparison's sake:

[mp3] Ketch Harbour Wolves - Letters
[mp3] Plants and Animals - Bye Bye Bye

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