The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Headlights: Wildlife (2009), Polyvinyl Records

(El contenido del link de descarga de Rapidshare ha sido eliminado del post / The direct download link has been removed by request of DMCA)
Intimistas, poéticos, acústicos, poperos… cualquiera de estas etiquetas valdría para encuadrar la música y el sonido de este combo norteamericano de Illinois, poco amante, sin embargo, de utilizarlas. A medio caballo entre el Pop-Folk y el Pop con reminiscencias ambientales, a lo Fanfarlo, el tercer álbum de la banda sí que está dominado por una nota en común: el intimismo (Wiscosin beaches, We are all animals), y los medios tiempos con ambientes acústicos ambientados por una tenue red de sonidos de teclados que hacen de este disco, como ellos mismos reconocen, una perfecta transición del verano al otoño, una bonita reflexión sobre las relaciones humanas, no sólo las amorosas. Los juegos de voces chica-chico son también otra de las constantes positivas durante todo el disco (Teenage wonder, Slow down town). Las canciones que más nos han agradado son aquellas más animadas, en los que la banda saca a relucir su influencia más Dream-Pop: Telephones, precioso tema en el que podríamos confundir su sonoridad con la de grupos de los países nórdicos, tal es la belleza de su sonido, sencillo y vagamente aderezado por algunos teclados. You and eye y Dead ends presentan semejante sonido, aquí con unos medios tiempos (ritmo en el que mejor se maneja el grupo adornados por un sonido más ambient). Get going tiene un aura algo más feliz, veraniega y soleada, y podría encajar, por ejemplo, en Songs from Northern Britain de Teenage Fanclub. El sonido se vuelve más taciturno para entonar Love song for Buddy, especie de nana adornada con tecladitos a lo Velvet: Gran tema. Y la que es para quien escribe, la mejor canción del álbum: I don´t mind at all, el corte más animoso de la colección y en la que aparecen las guitarras más mordientes -su solo es sumamente parecido al de alguno de Yo la Tengo-, arropado por un ritmo muy machacón. Disco, en definitiva, para disfrutar con calma, melancólico, pensativo e intimista, del que nos gusta más su primera parte, pero en cualquier caso, perfecto para disfrutarlo en una tarde otoñal como las que se avecinan.
“The first track on Headlights’ newest album is called “Telephones”, but there are a half-dozen other songs on Wildlife that could’ve feasibly been titled the same. Phones are all over the indie pop band’s third full-length effort: they ring with no one to answer them; calls are short and only reinforce the distance, both literal and emotional, between yourself and the ones you love. The telephone serves as the great motif and most pernicious tool in reinforcing the album’s overriding theme, which is how frail, fraught, and difficult to maintain the connections are between family, lovers, and friends.
You may be thinking this synopsis sounds pretty heady for an indie-pop record, especially coming from a band that rather guilelessly trumpets itself as “Indie Rock for People Who Love Pop” on its web site, and that made its biggest splash to date with a politely infectious single called “Cherry Tulips”. It’s actually quite easy to listen to Wildlife as a breezily low-key indie pop record if that’s what you’d prefer, though that short-sells the group’s admirable conceptual accomplishments. Musically, the album is largely loose-limbed and friendly, from the ringing, melodic guitar lines of “Telephones” to the easy sun-kissed vibes of “Get Going” to the almost cheekily hollow trashcan drumbeats of “Love Song for Buddy”. “I Don’t Mind at All” approximates the tense propulsion of Broken Social Scene, but that’s about as sonically pensive as it gets. Even the group’s purposefully moody musical bum trips are mostly too benign to really sting, and the album’s generally undemonstrative character makes it ripe for an ignorable listen assuming you’re not feeling inclined to really dig beneath its placidly shimmering surfaces.
So Wildlife isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with earworms, but it’s a worthy achievement for taking a poignant, powerful emotional state and carrying its thread for 42 minutes. The band’s bio admits Wildlife was a difficult album to make, the recording process marked by a near-total scrapping of material at one point as well as the eventual departure of guitarist John Owen. It seems this tumultuous experience– along with other, unspecified personal hardships– deeply affected the outlooks of songwriting principals Tristan Wraight and Erin Fein. More than anything, emphasis seems to be placed on how difficult it is to maintain friendships throughout the passage of time– maybe it’s something as simple as the fact that you’re “so far from home” (“Telephones”), or maybe your friends are physically close, but are just “too busy growing old” (“Dead Ends”). Fein in particular tries desperately to break through, pratically breathless in her desire on “Secrets” to know another’s darkest moments and deepest agonies. By the end of Wildlife, it’s almost as if the effort of trying to connect and understand has left everyone emotionally exhausted– without wallowing in nostalgia, the closing “Slow Down Town” muses on “Easier times/ When your friends were around/ And they called you on the weekend/ And you knew where all the people hung out.” If you’ve stayed with Headlights this long, chances are when the record ends you yourself will be grabbing a phone and making a call, and hoping you don’t get sent to voice mail”
(
pitchfork.com)
MySpace
Cómpralo/Get it-Polyvinyl Records

17 noviembre, 2009 Posted by | Headlights, Música | Deja un comentario

Headlights: I don´t mind at all (from Wildlife, 2009, Polyvinyl Records)

The first installment in the Headlights Vibloggeo, a weekly installment created by Headlights while on tour. Check back in YouTube each week for new episodes.

28 octubre, 2009 Posted by | Headlights, Vídeos | Deja un comentario

   

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