2011 is already shaping up to be a great year for new music. Esben & the Witch’s greatly anticipated debut really delivers, Adele’s sophomore effort is a strong step forward, and Wire is back, after all these years, with an outstanding effort that manages a sound that’s both contemporary and true to their New Wave heritage. A fantastic new REM disc drops next week, I believe, and IAMX’s new one lands March 18. The Lost Patrol is hinting at a 2011 release, and Green Day is slated for a new one, as well. Verily, my cup runneth over.
One of my favorites of 2011 so far is 4am from Buffalo’s Dotsun Moon. I’ve always been a sucker for bands descended from the Portishead side of the trip-hop family tree (oddly, I like many of these artists more than Portishead themselves), and Mary Ognibene’s understated, sultry delivery hits me right between the, ummm, well, let’s just say eyes here to avoid any trouble with the broadcast standards department, shall we? Musically, Rich Flierl (keys, guitars, and the primary songwriter) conjures a smoky, minimalist economy of sound that feels quite polished despite its sparseness.
Who do they remind me of (because since you haven’t heard them, we have to triangulate via bands you may know, right)? Well, I mentioned Portishead, and Flierl admits to a fondness for Massive Attack and Jah Wobble. “Who Do You Love?” suggests that he’s heard a bit of Love & Rockets, as well. There are places where Ognibene reminds me a lot of Girl Next Door’s Kat Green and the CD’s more animated numbers put me in mind of a sort of noir version of Supreme Beings of Leisure. Other places I swear I hear bits and pieces of The Church, U2, maybe a little Echo. Or maybe I’m projecting – hard to say. Sounds and influences sneak into a mix from all over the place.
All in all, there’s a lot of like here, and if I’m not mistaken this is the band’s first release. Which is even more impressive.
So, what next? You can listen to some tracks here. You can buy the CD here. You can follow them on Facebook. And, this being Saturday Video Roundup, you can watch a video or two. Like “Heed the Warning”:
And “Glory” is just gorgeous.
Happy Saturday, yo.