Saturday, January 6, 2007

Reviews:: Fulton Lights

I'm sure this record will be blogged to death over the coming weeks. First off (and most importantly), it's a great record, but it's also backed by a hard working PR company. But to be honest, the reason I took a great interest in hearing it was simple - it's released on catbird records (a joint release with Android Eats Records).

Say what you will about the influence and hype of blogs, but catbirdseat.org does what every other blogger (actually, Justin @ Aquarium Drunkard has chucked his hat into the ring as well) always talks about. Instead of simply critiquing the records that are being released, he's actually putting forth the effort to release the music he is so passionate about. It's a good thing, especially in a time where most people download music and record sales plummet year after year. Before you get all uppity and claim herohill is shilling for the dude, relax chumly. I'm pretty sure he's never visited our site, and had no hand in us reviewing this record. Anyway, more important is the record itself.

Fulton Lights is the work of Andrew Spencer Goldman. Trying to describe this record without sounding pretenious is hard. It's got all the traits of a critical darling: gritty, minimal beats, haunting strings, and sparse but emotional vocals. It's somehow a perfect blend of fresh sounds and traditional elements. But instead of being obscure and challenging, the record is amazingly accessible. From the opening tones and old skool kick drum beat, you are struck with a sense of reality. After a simple string breakdown, Andrew (with help from Oktopus from dalek) starts to create a juxtaposition of horns, strings, keys, vocals and textures.

Lyrically, records usually have either too much or too little to say. Instead, Andrew ponders his way through the events we see on the news each day. He doesn't ask any question too different from one I'd ask myself. Instead of spiked crescendos and transitions, this song (this record actually) simply slowly unveils itself, almost note by note. The whole experience is a visceral one. The hidden textures and muted emotions of 1000 Little Eyes blend into the background, just like any city noise. They always say that cities are alive, and Andrew manages to reflect that energy on the record. The sound swells and calms, but never overpowers the record itself.

I'm sure people will throw a lot of names around to describe this record, but to me it's a slight to the effort put forth. Tossing it into another category seems to be taking the easy way out, especially when you can sense the effort Andrew put into each note (like the stray piano keys that tinker randomly throughout The Monkey On Our Backs).

Since I opened it up, I've been listening to Fulton Lights nonstop. I don't know if it's because it's so refreshing or because it's somehow so familiar. Either way, it's a great listen and like any city I've lived in, I know it will only get better when I start to discover the nuances that make it so special.

MP3:: thank god for the evening news
MP3:: fire in the palm of my hand

web page :: myspace

Posted at 3:42 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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