Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Rachel’s- The Sea And The Bells

Chamber goes indie. A bunch of folks from the Louisville/Chicago scenes playing instruments most traditionally associated with classical music- strings, piano- but with an approach that embraces traditional rock song structure with the ability to circumvent it when needed.

‘The Sea And The Bells,’ as the title implies, is a nautical record, both in concept and sound. Musical ebbs and swells complement the story of a captain stranded on an island after the wreck of his ship, wasting away and pining for his beloved, all the while battling the elements and his mind.

I have listened to this one at least once a month since it came out, even the track where the storm hits and strings go berserk (total makeout killer- look out!). I can whistle along with every song on the album, like one of those guys who knows a lot of jazz.

Rachel’s- Selenography

More chindie from the gang. ‘Selenography’ sounds more lush and full that ‘Bells’ did, presumably because the band itself was better and/or had more time to record. Having said that, the record isn’t as cohesive as ‘Bells’, doesn’t have the pull of narrative helping things along. A minor quibble at best, though- still engagingly pretty.

Rachel’s- Systems/Layers

An even greater refinement. Another instance of me knowing that the band’s progression is easy to hear, but maintaining an older record as my favorite for reasons of pure sentiment. More of the fuller chindie arrangements, recorded beautifully with bits of found sound incorporated, along with help from a nebulous improve group/student originizations. I can’t emphasize enough how much the band has progressed from ‘Sea And The Bells,’ which I thought was the absolute tits when it came out. Not to take a damn thing away from that record- I have such fond memories attached to both the album itself and the jaw-dropping live performance the band put on it its support at the Brattle Theater some years ago. Exceeding expectations.


Blogger howie said...

did you ever hear the 'full on night' remix disc with rachel's and matmos?

6:27 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Nope. Didja like it?

12:45 PM  

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