in brief : two songs, the difference between which is more than that between night and day.
ah, sorry, no selections from the back catalog this evening. these are two great new-ish bands, if "new" is understood in the grammy "best new artist" sense of the word, w/ shamefully little name recognition, but w/ fantastic releases in the offing that more than merit your attention.
as soon as i hear the electric piano, it feels as if i'm listening to a canadian record; the lead singer's voice merely confirms it, a voice that almost screams "peace, order & good government." as recent as ten years ago, calling a band "canadian" was a pejorative, a dastardly slur--my how times have changed! paper moon is another worthy canadian band, w/ a firm grip on dynamics and a certain new wavey lilt that recalls the stars' album before last. the song is all about making a clean break, drawing a line between past and future, and doing so w/ the optimism that only travel seems to engender, while the music itself makes such optimism palpable.
on the other hand, i had no fucking clue that minor majority is from norway, thinking instead that they were some midwestern alt.country concern. indeed, the band sounds like the tindersticks if they had somehow found their way out to omaha. on the bewitching "let the night begin," minor majority manage to do one of the most difficult things i can think of, drawing a line between day and night; it turns out it's as simple as the line between verse and chorus. a light string backing looms like the night itself, simply biding its time until the chorus arrives to make its presence felt. in the summer, norway is a country where one can wait a long time for the night to begin--eighteen hours at its peak--and yet minor majority summon it w/ the ease of turning off a light switch.