Sinkership - Sin Fang Bous
Economically speaking, Iceland makes the U.S. look like it only needs to borrow some quarters for the soda machine (pay ya back tomorrow!). I hope the financial meltdown doesn't pop these Icelandic kids' balloon, because Clangour is a, yes, clangorous bounty of breathless folk jangle and electronic pitter-pattered joy. It's a pop record. There's tambourine. "Sinkerships'" beats, harmonies and a certain kindergarten playground milieu will have you, inevitably, think of Animal Collective. Try not to. Don't get me wrong, Merriweather Post Pavillion is really good--it would be ridiculous to say otherwise--but Sin Fang Bous isn't trying to challenge anyone with anything. If there's math on this test, it's simple arithmetic. Jeez, times are hard enough as it is. (btw, Simon Reynolds has a worth-reading Guardian piece on AC's critical cultural juncture and why we're suffering a plague of [unfortunate, tiresome] AC polemics.)
From Clangour (Amazon), Myspace
Rattlin' Bones - Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
My first thought: Australian country? But that's just my own shameful ethnocentricity. And if you think about it, who better than the hardscrabbled Aussies to pick up and rub through their calloused hands those home-ditching/homesick, sinner/saint, lost/found, dreamer/wanderer narrative threads? Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson perform this particular redemption tale with tons of professionalism (no rustic authenticity bullshit here), not to mention the hand-in-glove ease and relaxed chemistry of a happily married couple. Understandably, it was a radio hit in Australia. Also understandably, it will never be one here.
From Rattlin' Bones (Amazon), Myspace