Infinite Shuffle

March 19, 2014

199 – Evening Hymns

Filed under: E, Toronto — assman41 @ 2:09 pm

Evening Hymns is the perfect band to help put this seemingly endless winter to rest once and for all. Singing dirges that are both mournful and hopeful at the same time, Jonas Bonnetta — the main driving force behind the Ontario collective — uses music to help cope with all that life has to offer.

That is the group’s 2012 album, Spectral Dusk. The songs were written by Bonnetta while he was dealing with the death of his father. His pain can be felt throughout, particularly on “Spirit in the Sky”, “Song To Sleep To” and the title track.

But, just like any baseball lineup worth its salt, the strongest songs here are tracks 3-5 — “Family Tree”, “You and Jake” and “Cabin in the Burn”.

It’s the third album Bonnetta has released, including 2007’s Farewell To Harmony under his own name and 2009’s Spirit Guides under the Evening Hymns moniker. The “band” consists of a rotating cast of characters, including members of such groups as Ohbijou, The Wooden Sky, The Burning Hell, The D’Urbervilles and Forest City Lovers.

Spirit Guides has a more uplifting tone, with a richer, more complex sound than the latest release. It includes the opening 1-2 punch of “Lanterns” and “Dead Deer” that should make any indie fan take notice.

December 12, 2010

55 – Earwig

Filed under: Columbus, E — assman41 @ 12:01 am

I first heard about Earwig in mid-August when someone from the band commented on my review of fellow Columbus, Ohio, act House of Heroes.

They provided a link to the their website, so I checked it out. The group didn’t seem like anything too special, so I never gave it a second thought.

That is, until I saw that Simon over at Outroversion had put up a post about the band. After reading his synopsis, I figured I’d give them another chance — and, again, I wasn’t too impressed.

But just before writing this post, I thought I should listen to their stuff on MySpace one more time so it was fresh in my mind. And, as it turns out, my first impression — and second one, for that matter — of Earwig was way off.

Originally, I deemed them a decent band, but nothing special. After another listen, I realized there really was more going on there than first assumed.

None of the songs really repeat — it’s as if each track was influenced by something totally different.

“Star Crossd” sounds kinda twee, maybe a little like fellow Ohioans Guided By Voices. “Rumplestiltskin” is heavier in sound and tone. “Trees” is just pure indie-pop. “Lovesong Cockroach” has a grunge feel to it. “Glorious and Gloom” is a little more emo-pop.

“Shiny Morning” opens with an auto-tune thing that is very reminiscent of Imogen Heap/Frou Frou before heading toward a more indie-pop/rock track. “Drag” reminds me of something Jimmy Eat World might’ve put out in their heyday. “Used Kids” sounds like something I would’ve heard on the radio during high school in the late ’90s — I just hope the band’s not as religious as it sounds in the chorus of this song.

There’s also an interesting back story regarding the band’s latest release, Gibson Under Mountain. Apparently, the album title came to lead singer Lizard McGee in a dream, and shortly thereafter he was “dream-writing” all the songs.

For more on the band, visit the official website.

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