Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pick of the Week #17: Olenka and the Autumn Lovers

Both Bob (itsnotthebandihateitstheirfans) Battams and Sean (everythingispop) Wright have been talking up Olenka and the Autumn Lovers (London, On) for a good time now. In fairness, I think I might have written something about them before now were I still living in the burgeoning metropolis, but, I've moved on to bigger, swinefluier pastures. But, ironically (or not) it was a trip back to the forest city (London, On) that really made me take notice of OatAL.

They were playing a CHRW (Radio Western) fundraiser/my buddy Elliot mentioned them to me/I remembered all the times Bob and Sean talked about them/I listened to their myspace songs approximately 100 times, and thus (yes, thus - in case you are just stopping by I have a highly literate readership) I sought out the rest of the work of OatAL. Thanks to Allan ( via Darin @ the parallel universe I got my hands on both the s/t album and the companion EP Papillonette.

Suffice to say that after a few spins (I've basically listened to these two albums exclusively over the last 3 days) that its pretty easy to see why OatAL were voted London's album of the year. Now, I suspect that many people would kind of scoff at that award - London isn't exactly known for its arts scene - but, actually, in the last 3/4/5 years London has given birth to a bunch of pretty awesome albums: Basia Bulat Oh, My Darling; Shad, The Old Prince and When This is Over, Great Lake Swimmers, Oniagara, Bodies and Minds, Great Lake Swimmers, and there are others... I imagine... I'll also point out that London has produced (academy award winner), Paul Haggis, Ryan Gosling (dreamboat), and so on...

The albums themselves draw on Olenka's Eastern European background (kind of like a female Beirut, but less depressing), but aren't defined exclusively by that sound. Its fitting since Olenka grew up in Vancouver, is now a Londonian, but - according to the press release - has travelled far and wide through her studies (PhD in English). And given that information, the narrative of the albums - particularly the s/t release - make a lot of sense, which, in the end, kind of feels like the story of Olenka's youth (real or imagined I'm not sure) in Poland.

The executive summary
: An album (s/t), which feels like the story of Olenka Krakus' youth in Poland, really should've been somewhere (probably top 15 on my year end list last year) and is making me think I should go back and re-evaluate my picks.

[mp3] Olenka and the Autumn Lovers - Flash in the Pan (Papillonette EP)
[mp3] Olenka and the Autumn Lovers - Iron Pump (Olenka and the Autumn Lovers)

Pick of the Week #1: Ketch Harbour Wolves
Pick of the Week #2: Rah Rah
Pick of the Week #3: Glasvegas/Animal Collective
Pick of the Week #4: Bruce Peninsula
Pick of the Week #5: The Antlers
Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys
Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou
Pick of the Week #8:
Gentlemen Husbands
Pick of the Week #9: Chris Whitley
Pick of the Week #10: Alela Diane
Pick of the Week #11: K'naan
Pick of the Week #12: TOR/Sufjan Stevens
Pick of the Week #13: Timber Timbre
Pick of the Week #14: Justis
Pick of the Week #15: Hibiscus & Rosehips Compilation
Pick of the Week #16: Patrick Watson

1 comment:

Jesse said...

The "Breaker High" dude?