Infinite Shuffle

July 17, 2013

167 – Tidelands

Filed under: San Francisco, T — assman41 @ 4:17 pm

Finding a band with a totally original sound is a bittersweet experience for a blogger like myself. There’s the obvious joy of discovering something new and perhaps exotic. Unfortunately, on the flip side, there’s often no comparable bands to use as a jumping-off point.

So it is with Tidelands, the relatively new indie-pop duo from San Francisco. “Pop” might not be the most apt description, as the group has veered more closely to classical, folk and prog on its first two albums.

That is the mesmerizing video for “Holy Grail” off Tidelands’ 2011 debut, If … It consists of more than 1,000 watercolor paintings done by one of the band’s artist friends over the course of four months.

It gives you an idea of the plane of thinking and introspection where band members Gabriel Leis (vocals, guitar and flugelhorn) and Mie Araki (drums and keyboards) generally reside.

The band gets plenty of help from friends on the album, including Magik*Magik Orchestra, which lent a chamber-pop feel to several tracks.

The sound is fleshed out by violins, cellos, rich guitars, a flugelhorn, trumpets and many other instruments left to the imagination.

On their 2012 follow-up, We’ve Got a Map, Tidelands build on their sound and move a little closer to true pop.

Leis’ voice occasionally drifts into Pink Floyd territory — nowhere more so than on “Toaster”.

With several songs in their catalog surpassing the 6-minute barrier, Tidelands could be a harder taste to acquire among today’s ADHD-addled youth. But if you have the time to relax and listen, it’ll be worth your while.

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