Seems like just a year ago I was listening to the debut album by The Lovely Intangibles. Actually, it has been just over a year since the band’s debut Tomorrow Is Never was released to great acclaim (including by yours truly). The band features 3/5 members of The Lost Patrol, Jon Camp of Renaissance fame, and Mary Ognibene of Dotsun Moon. The chemistry is natural and the tunes are magnificent. The sophomore album was mixed and mastered by Brian Kehew – known for his work with The Moog Cookbook, Air, Fiona Apple, and The Who (among others). Air & Numbers takes the sounds of the debut to the next level – the shimmering intersection of post-punk and shoegaze.
I once read on the world wide web’s preeminent authority on all things in life – Wikipedia – that film noir is “a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly such that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.” The two modern writer / directors that I would associate with that term would be Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch. Both filmmakers are notable for their films’ visual flair, storytelling, and use of music that evokes a visceral reaction from the viewer. What good is a perfect film if it doesn’t have the perfect music? Along those lines, I’ve often sought out artists that sound like they are providing a soundtrack to an imaginary noir film. New York City’s The Lovely Intangibles fit the bill in stunning fashion.
Another year gone by, another year in music to review. For me personally, it was a strange year in music. I found myself listening to unsigned / self released artists more often than some of the mainstream artists that I love so much. 2 Neil Young records – the 1st was good, if not great. The 2nd was a little too lush for my tastes. Neither appear on my year-end round-up. I looked forward to the new John Mellencamp (yes, seriously) but I came away only loving about half the record. Bruce Springsteen added Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine to his band and the record he released didn’t disappoint me. I managed to get out to a few shows in 2014 and was blown away by Mudhoney (twice) and First Aid Kit. Speaking of First Aid Kit, their Stay Gold record grew in stature with repeated listens and should help them become a household name. So without further rambling, here are the records that I played the most in 2014. Note: these are listed randomly and I chose to focus on full length releases that were released in 2014.
It’s been about 18 months since we last heard from New York City’s The Lost Patrol. 2013’s Driven was a masterful record, indebted to 80’s post-punk with a side of noir. It was one of my favorite records of 2013 and I was curious about how the band would follow it up. In 2014 the band still features Mollie Israel on vocals alongside multi-instrumentalists Stephen Masucci and Michael Williams. New to the band is Tony Mann on drums, who lends the new tunes a rawer feel in comparison to previous records. The record is a “grower” in the classic sense of the term – each spin reveals a new layer of beauty. It is the strongest offering by The Lost Patrol to date and pushes the band forward whilst retaining everything that has made them great thus far.
So says some reputable website on the world wide web. In my experience though, this term can come off as damning praise. “Oh, don’t mind him – he’s a bit eclectic”. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure you’ve heard the term in the same way. Not always true, mind you – just my experience. I’ve always been drawn to people, authors, and musicians who embrace an eclectic approach. (True Confession: I love Sandinista! by The Clash). There’s something about the all-encompassing approach that I really enjoy. New York City’s The Lost Patrol are a band that use an eclectic approach to great effect.