Reviews:: Les Petites The Mighty Antlers of Songs EP

Admittedly, I’m late hearing about this Calgary/Brentwood band, but better late than never. Gabriel Collins and Rebecca Taves are the driving force of this outfit, but they enlist the support of their friends (both for musical support and borrowing songs) for these two EPs. Normally I’d be a bit leery of a band who brandishes the title of “Brentwood’s quietest band”, but what they lack in “noise”, Les Petites make up for in ambition and arrangements.

The EPs actually work rather well together, as the restraint and subtle nature of the.mighty.antlers.of.songs.EP features 5 songs that rely on simple piano lines (the opening introduction - chickadee ATTACK! - sounds like a female fronted Sufjan song), and ear catching acoustic arrangements. boy before the woods (it’s a prequel), coyote ATTACK! and submersibles II: the battle of the little seahorn are surprisingly upbeat and cement the fact that Rebecca and Gabriel could be trapped in a room with a guitar and nothing else and create magical music. The guitar work, while not overly complex, is catchy and sounds great when the two start singing. The vocal interplay on coyote is fantastic and leads nicely into a Chad van Gaalen cover (Chronograph #1) that actually fits well into the record (and continues the coyote/animal theme of the songs).

As the second EP (might antlers II: an.ark.of.animals.EP) starts, I have to wonder how rocking Brentwood must be, especially when you hear the frantic energy of Best Tasting Wool in The World. Gabriel’s vocals are reminiscent of Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, but the arrangement is made up of stompy percussion, powerful harmonic chorus, barely audible backing screams and a aggressively strummed acoustic that add a sense of significance to the track. The second EP flies by, with three of the 5 songs tracking in at a total of 3 minutes (gymnopiedies #1 and stamen ATTACK! fit together nicely and essentially act as a intro into btwitw). The album closer - the rabbit blackberry - is another folky number that could have been penned by Wagner, but the surges the band uses at the chorus makes it leap out of the speakers. That’s probably why I liked these EP so much. They seemed familiar, but at almost every turn they went a different direction than the map said.

MP3:: Best Tasting Wool in the World


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