Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou - Swift Feet for Troubling Times

I've been really torn about what to do with my pick of the week this week. On the one hand, I like to try and keep things current - in the sense that my entire blog is basically just a record of stuff that I like at the moment; on the other, its also nice to use it as a platform to promote bands that I like that other people may not be so familiar with. This week, I've opted to go with the latter, and as this is being posted on AWmusic also, its a chance to (hopefully) turn a few people on to one of Toronto's best bands, Ohbijou.

A pre-emptive apology to readers of the Burgeoning Metropolis for, what I'm sure will be, some extremely repetitive comments given that I've written about Ohbijou probably more than any other band over the last year and a half.

Now that that's out of the way...

I first came across Ohbijou entirely by accident when they opened for Great Lake Swimmers (new album, Lost Channels Mar. 31) at Aoelian Hall (what must've been two years ago) and they absolutely stunned the building. It was a perfect crowd (slightly older) and venue (sit down, great acoustics - where the GLS recorded Oniagara) for the band and their sweet vocals, beautifully orchestrated strings, and quiet/shy/impish demeanor won everyone over. It took me approx. 7 seconds to get out of my seat and buy their album. So good in fact that I can't, very honestly, remember what the GLSs set was like... and they are typically very, very, good live... I mean, I'm sure they were good, but the surprise that was Ohbijou completely overshadowed anything that they could've done...

Thankfully, that performance translated very well onto the album. And not only did it translate well enough to land at #8 on my Best Albums '07, but it has worn extraordinarily well for an album that has got so much play around the apartment. In fact, and I think Liz liking it so much has a good deal to do with it, but its probably the most played album on, what is (I think), a shockingly good list of albums in 2007.

The best news of all, is that in addition to releasing a joint EP with the Acorn earlier this year, they've got a new album, Beacons, that is slated to be released in April this year. And, if people will shut their fat yaps and listen I suspect they'll do some serious damage at SXSW this year....

The executive summary:
If you like Stars (without the electronic business) or Feist (with a strings behind her) then its an absolute lock that you'll like Ohbijou.

[mp3] Ohbijou - Raccoons
Ohbijou - The Woods

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