Okkervil River has been busy; with three albums in the last four years, you may think there has to be a drop in quality, but alas, they deliver the goods again on their new album, The Stand Ins. I will not waste any of my trademark alliteration and clever quips on this modest description (hint: full album review soon), but do not expect another Black Sheep Boy, they bring more of the pseudo upbeat alt-country/rock of last years effort, The Stage Names, almost serving as an extension. Brash and brutally honest lyrics galore. Perhaps we can cross our fingers for a new 2009 release.
Broken Social Scene is an oddity. They have had more branch-off solo albums than the Wu-Tang Clan. OK, we won’t be ridiculous, but the release of BSS Presents: Brendan Canning’s Something For All Of Us… marks the third album in two years released by one of the super-groups masterminds (see also: BSS Presents: Keven Drew – Spirit If…, also recommended, also loving the use of “…”, and breakout alum Feist – The Reminder). Brendan does not stray from what he knows, and you can expect more of the arrangements you would hear from a normal any BSS release. Now if only we could get a proper follow-up to BSS’ self-titled 2005 masterpiece.
Never being one for conventionalism, I am throwing in The Avett Brothers for the second time in this weeks Listen Up! They released The Second Gleam EP somewhat under the radar, with the brothers new album soon on the horizon. It is a stripped effort, most likely some B-sides from their critically acclaimed 2007 album Emotionalism. All of the songs here contain simple guitar/banjo and vocals only, beautiful ditties about lost childhood, murder of a loved one, and unbridled love (you know, the usual). Following these ‘gents has been a fantastic ride, to see how much they have grown since their humble beginnings; they have really found their stride.
[Listen Up! is a weekly feature.]