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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Pernice Brothers – Yours, Mine and Ours January 15, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Think of this as a companion piece to last week’s run through with Teenage Fanclub. Pernice Brothers. Their first album, Overcome by Happiness, was built on the wreckage of alt-country outfit Scud Mountain Boys and taking a [slightly] different direction entirely shifting towards a strings inflected indie. I’d enjoyed it… but didn’t find it entirely compelling (I see now that one track was voted the most exquisitely sad song in the whole world… well…them’s the breaks, so much for my critical ear). They released a number of albums subsequently but I didn’t get around to listening them.

And then around 2005 I heard Yours, Mine and Ours and was immediately struck by how muscular it was. Sure, the voices were still soft, the melodies… melodic, the arrangements striking. But listening to songs like ‘Blinded by the Stars’ and the truly remarkable 2.45 minutes of ‘Sometimes I Remember’, a song that was positioned in reference to New Order, but New Order if they’d been born under North American rather than Mancunian skies, and you can hear a real power in the songs.

These, such as album opener ‘The Weakest Shade of Blue’, could be speedy at times. For all that it’s also delicate in parts as well, or reflective like ‘Water Ban’ which has a simple and affecting melody for the verse. And the songs are unusually complex with a lot happening in and around those melodies. In that way it reminds me of Teenage Fanclub, this is music which has been thought about and worked and reworked. Another point of reference might be Josh Rouse’s first album Dressed Up Like Nebraska that also tangentially referenced 1980s new wave indie and bands like the Cure. And I also hear echoes of the Church here as well, albeit it is a lot more subtle and reserved than the Church.

That inflection of new wave shading into indie permeates the album, from the guitar lines and gorgeous backing vocals on ‘How To Live Alone’ to ‘Blinded by the Stars’. Or listen to the insistent keyboard that underpins ‘Number Two’ contrasted subtly with the guitar work which if it were any louder would spoil the track, but somehow is sufficiently restrained to allow it to flow.

And all this before we get to the lyrics.

It’s a lovely album, and oddly still as listenable for me today as when I first heard it.

Sometimes I remember

Blinded by the stars

Baby in Two

Waiting for the Universe

Water Ban

Comments»

1. goodhardrant - January 15, 2011

Some nicely melancholic songs here, WBS.

Might not be of CLR-type interest, but Trish Keenan of Broadcast died yesterday, so I’ll probably be listening to them over the weekend. Broadcast were/are one of those totally undervalued English bands doing delicately brilliant things with music – definitely worth a listen.

http://tinyurl.com/64uxvdc

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WorldbyStorm - January 15, 2011

Thanks for that goodhardrant.

I only heard this morning that she had died and from complications of swine flu I believe. It’s strange. I pegged them when they came out as a sort of Stereolab like outfit (they were on Warp, weren’t they at least initially). And yet they seemed to go off on a fascinating tangent.

It’s very sad news.

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EamonnCork - January 15, 2011

That’s very sad indeed. The Broadcast/Focus Group Witch Cults Of The Radio Age album was one of the best things that came out last year. The track The Be Colony is particularly beautiful and if I knew how to do these things I’d put it on here.

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WorldbyStorm - January 15, 2011

I’m not entirely sure, but sometimes if you just drop the link into your comment that works.

Some amazing music on the last album.

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2. EamonnCork - January 15, 2011

You lost me at drop the link into your comment.
Yours, Ned Ludd.

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3. goodhardrant - January 15, 2011

For EamonnCork (and anyone who hasn’t heard it)

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4. EamonnCork - January 15, 2011

Thanks. It is wonderful, isn’t it?

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WorldbyStorm - January 15, 2011

Yes, thanks again ghr

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