April 2009

Lose yourself for a day or two here.

dananananaykroyd2“Sounds a bit like At The Drive In,” is a phrase I never thought I’d have cause to use, but I’ve just used it there and I’d already thought it a couple of times earlier today.

Hey Everyone is the debut album from the rather impossibly named Glaswegian outfit, Dananananaykroyd and, perhaps now unsurprisingly, it sounds a bit like At The Drive In.

Now to most, that probably means very little. To some, it’ll probably mean it’s going to be very noisy. To a few, it’ll probably be the soundtrack for 2009. I’m not entirely sure where it sits with me.

It was possible to love ATDI one moment and then a moment later, often during the same song, absolutely hate them and I have that sort of ambivalence for Dananetc. It’s a light, frothy sort of noise-rock — or fight-pop, as I believe the band prefers — and in amongst the mathematical improbabilities of some of the less accessible tracks, it’s still largely impressive and intricate. Plus — and I mean this with the greatest respect — making something sound as random and noisy and shouty as this isn’t easy. Really, it isn’t. If you think it sounds like people just slamming guitars into each other on full gain, well, yeah, but making that noise takes skill … or at least more skill than physically slamming the guitars into each other.

So, yeah. Impressive in places. Maybe a little overly shouty in others. Always interesting. Always capable of a surprise.

51rxpqamxl_sl500_aa240_I’ve officially been a fan of Sara Watkins since … well, since whenever it was that I lamented about Nickel Creek disbanding just as I was getting all cocky about discovering them a few weeks ago. Unofficially, I’ve been a fan for a lot longer, probably since the Glen Phillips collaboration; Mutual Admiration Society.

Anyway, at eight minutes past midnight this morning, iTunes informed me that my pre-ordered copy of Sara’s self titled debut solo album was “ready”. By quarter past midnight, I’d downloaded it. By half past, I was hypnotised, and not just because I’d enjoyed a Sunday night sherry or two too many.

“All This Time” and “Where Will You Be” form the albums achingly beautiful bookends, but in between, there’s no shortage of vocal and lyrical brilliance. And even though I’ve little time for songs about imaginary beings, even the couple of more religiously slanted efforts have enough charm and are delivered with rich, whispery honesty that it’s easy to forgive.

Backing all of this up are her Nickel Creek bandmates and other luminaries such as Gillian Welch. It’s the voice, though, that makes this the triumph that it is. An illumni from the Brandi Carlile / MJB / PJ Harvey School of Goosebump Generators, it’s probably the treat my ears have been saving up their pocket money for.

Highly recommended.