Okay, as you may know, thanks to a heads up by good friend Zach that at We Listen For You, the new Vampire Weekend album Contra is streaming on their myspacers, meaning the webrip is all over the internet. Web Sheriff has been all over this release like dandruff on my scalp in the winter. So, go check it out for yourself, I ain’t touching it anytime soon with a ten-foot pool. This post is NOT about Vampire Weekend.
Uh-uh. No way.
Nor is this post about Montreal, Canadian prog band & current guilty pleasure Mystery, no not the “cool” indie-prog of Sunset Rubdown, et al, but the spaceships, unicorns, and rainbows kind. I came across them when, upon seeing that Yes was coming to town (well, Cleveland, close enough to get me farting around the internets) I did a little searching to see what they’ve been up to and I come across this rather alarming photo:
First of all, Howe, Squire, and Alan White can join the “old guys who look like old lesbians” club, geezy. But then there was Jon Anderson looking as young as Yes in their prime during the 70s (and some guy with really bad feathered hair and pre-pubescent facial hair in the back), or at least it looks like him.
A little digging around and I find out it’s NOT Jon Anderson but some French Canadian named Benoît David from a band called Mystery.
Curiosity growing like a cat next to a cardboard box, I had to peak inside. I click grab an album to give it a whirl and holy crap. They sound like a modern version of Rush & Yes from the olden days and… well… I like it. Check out the first few tracks..
Nuts, eh? So, though I will confess to “progging out” to the Beneath The Veil Of Winter’s Face, this post is not about Mystery. This post is about The Violent Blue by Electric President!
No, Electric President isn’t some comedy duo band featuring a bearded ironic hipster and Demetri Martin…
No, it’s actually a sorta spin-off from Radical Face. Honestly, after seeing the above picture of the band, I was hesitant. I mean, really? But then I read the label write-up that said, “their sound is a mixture of folk and indie pop crafted with electronic elements sometimes making occasional references to shoegaze and epic prog rock”. Well hell… The “P-word”, eh? Well, now I HAVE to listen!
Okay, the Prog thing. The only song that can be remotely label “prog” is the “epic” closer, “All The Distant Ships”. It’s over 8 1/2 minutes of epic beauty, reminscient of prog, sure, but maybe closer to that icy Scandinavian sound of Mew or Sigur Rós or something. It’s amazing and somewhat out of place to the other nine tracks, which go back to the folk + pop + electronic thing.
Yet, though it’s completely different and a little out of place, it actually works. Here’s why…. The album is beautiful. Glorious harmonies, perfectly placed electronic bits (wanted to use the word “elements” there, but it was taken), and beautiful melodies that, at times, can be quite uplifting! So yeah, while the last track and the other nine aren’t part of the same genre, it all gets welded together perfectly.
Really wonderful. THIS is what this post is about.
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