Monday, May 24, 2010

$3 Music Review: Volcano Choir

I'm listening to Volcano Choir. The Captain is enduring Volcano Choir.

Volcano Choir is everything The Captain cannot abide: repetition, unfamiliar chords, dissonance, unintelligible lyrics, and no catchy hooks.

None of those things disqualifies it for goodness in my opinion. However, it still has to be good.

Volcano Choir is a collaboration between Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and the Milwaukee-based instrumental band Collections of Colonies of Bees (which is not a bad attempt at Best Band Name Ever, and positively affects my opinion of their music).

Most of the music on their 2009 album "Unmap" is an interesting juxtaposition of soothing drones, harmonies, choppy bits of words and phrases, as well as dissonances, unconventional percussion, and experimental instrumentation - at times ethereal, divine and chantlike, at others, clanky and demanding. I would give four stars (out of the five-star iTunes system) to at least four out of the nine cuts on the album, but I'm not sure what I would DO with them.  For instance, the opening cut, "Husks and Shells," is a beautiful blend of voices, save for the fact that I swear that's my Polar heart rate monitor beeping in the background throughout, as if I had exceeded my target heart rate during my workout. It is not, for the most part, relaxing music, nor would it fit in a party or workout mix. So when do you pull out the experimental, drone-intensive, attention-sustaining prog-alt?

What's great about it, however, is that it does not get in the way of my words as I write this, as there are very few full sentences to vie for my attention. In fact, it may be a nice change of pace at work, when I have the office to myself (The Captain and my boss share many of the same musical tastes). And now that I've moved it from the stereo to my earphones (The Captain was getting tense), I'm enjoying it more, especially "Still." And now that I am re-listening to "Seeplymouth" (not a misspelling), I may put some of these on a few playlists after all.

Just not the ones that I play for The Captain.

1 comment:

DT said...

not music for fist pumping, just neurons firing... gettouttamywaytheressomethingcomingthroughthewordgeneratorrrr.