Monday, October 5, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Murder Ford Monument & Silver Starling

The weekend was more exhausting than I thought – road trip with the little man, dinners, yard sales, yard work, Steelers late night victory – so I was kind of left high and dry this AM when it came to posting. What’s that mean to you, oh loyal reader? Well, another stellar clip show like Quick Hitting road-up where I point you to some Canadian bands that I meant to write about, but just didn’t have time. Oddly enough they are both from Montreal but unsurprisingly, they are worth checking out.

Murder Ford Monument

When lead singer Jesse LeGallais’ baritone explodes over the fuzzy guitar and horns on The Hills Were On Fire, you can’t help but think of The National. His voice is similar to Mat’s and the band tries hard to match the energy of the NY outfit over the eight songs that make up their self-titled EP, so it's really hard to shake the sonic similarities.

I hate to lump them into a generic sounds-like comparison (one I’m sure they will tire of very, very quickly), because the band is trying some interesting things – the female vocals that perk up the bleak Gunfighters, the barren, simplicity of Rebel Smile that leads nicely into the strong, synth dominated closer Black Moon Lake (the song that I really think the band shows who THEY are) – and are headed in the right direction and when you dive in you notice that instead of the taught percussion and surging melodies you expect from The National, MFM opts for cloudier, bleaker sounds that never try for the staggering heights or intimate confessionals you might expect.

Throw in the fact they have Valleys opening up for them at the EP release show and you can’t help but think this isn’t the last time you will hear about Murder Ford Monument on herohill. For any Montreal readers, here are the deets: C.D RELEASE Oct 29th, Casa del Popolo with special guests VALLEYS!

MP3:: Murder Ford Monument - Black Moon Lake

Silver Starling

Montreal’s Marcus Paquin is fortunate enough to keep some very good company. The song writer started hashing out songs and realized the final output needed something... more. First was a free jazz drummer named Liam O’Neil, and then they started leaning on his wife Marika Shaw to play some viola and keys (she did that for another Montreal band too). Then it was Montreal music mainstay, Peter X (We Are Star 69) on bass and Gab Lambert to help thicken up the sound.

Knowing Paquin's production credits, it's not shocking how well the album is put together. Even so, it's hard to believe the meticulously constructed arrangements started out as singer/song writer sketches to help Paquin deal with the emotions of losing his best friend to cancer. Every texture in every song moves as one and the band uses big sounds - swirling guitars and strings, group vocals and big drums - to add heartfelt pain to the affair, but never add an unbearable weight to the songs and even though the tracks tend to draw off the same emotions and move at the same pace.

I think the subtle optimism Marcus adds to the songs – especially on the album standout, the uptempo and joy filled Ghosts - is why this dark album never drags you down into the sadness. Silver Starling certainly deals you heavy emotion, but the Montreal band knows when to deliver the news with a much needed light touch.

MP3:: Sliver Starling - Ghosts

Labels: , , , Murder Ford Monument, , Silver Starling

Posted at 11:15 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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