Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2010: Number 25

It's tricky to pin down what it is Montreal's Trips And Falls actually sound like, because He Was Such A Quiet Boy filters through so many influences and styles within a cobwebbed experimentalism, itself within the framework of psychedelic indie. They're a band who enjoy taking apart pop melodies, slowing them down, generally screwing around with them, then soldering them back into place to see what might happen. Something new crops up every time, switching from compelling obtuseness to elegantly dreamy ambience to sweet, spooked heartbreak, from warmly decorated with strings to pulled apart by electronic pulses.

It may sometimes dip into the barely penetrable - You Should Really Get Yours sounds like Stump played backwards - but there's a misleading warmth in some of the twinkling backing, with plenty of detail around the edges and in the fine print. And In Real Life He Wears Corduroy Pants could pass for Richard Hawley backing on a tighter budget, filled out with slurred, hopeful strings even as everything around it remains cagey, and Prelude To A Shark Attack's pizzicato plucking punctuation adds to a sense of unease at odds with the optimism of the lyrics until crossed male-female vocals pull it apart. Atop most of all is a delicately heartbroken tone of lyric like a backwoods Ballboy, bittersweet in its male-female vocal interplay that can barely decide whether to be optimstic or unfulfilling, forlorn tales of humanity going not so much wrong as awry. Restless, searching and filled with ideas but not so much that it overwhelms all else, it's worth seeking out its warped charms.

And In Real Life He Wears Corduroy Pants

The full list

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