Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Forms

"Talking about music is a game in that you can't talk about music. It's like talking about the human mind. We have no real understanding of how memory works, what purpose dreaming serves, what the function of seemingly unused areas of our brains is. The truth about music is also beyond our comprehension. When you change one note of a great melody, why do the composer and you and I all realize it's ruined? We don't really know why it's ruined, just that it's ruined... Icarus works in a way that is especially hard to talk about."
-The Forms

It was the track names, not the stellar reviews, that made me pick up the new untitled album from The Forms. Track 5 is called "Borges" (Benjy's grandfather) and track 9 is called "Oberlin" (Benjy's brother's alma mater) so I knew the band had some cosmic connection with The Canals.

Turns out this blog is far from the only thing The Forms have connected with. Both of their albums were produced by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies) and the music has received pretty much the best reviews I've ever read. The band has been compared to Sunny Day Real Estate, Nirvana, and Modest Mouse, but they remind me of a less melodic and more rockin' version of The Shins. They literally march to the beat of their own drummer, with almost every track in either 5, 7, or some other bizarre time signature that I couldn't even recognize. It's like they hear music in a completely different meter than other bands.

The music feels a little like an instrumental track to another song. Sometimes it feels like something's missing, but your ears are constantly bombarded with so much sound that it's impossible to put your finger on what it might be. It creates a weird situation where it sounds a little like background music but it requires and holds your complete attention. It's haunting and powerful - the type of music with nothing specific to cling to but that you won't be able to stop thinking about any time soon.

The albums have been described as mysterious, but even more mysterious is the band's lack of presence in the blogosphere. A total of four blogs have written about The Forms, and none have featured tracks from the new (not-yet-released) album. This despite Pitchfork giving their debut album Icarus an 8.5 and naming it the "#1 album of the year." They deserve better, and The Canals is here to provide just that.

From Icarus:

The Forms - Stravinsky
The Forms - Sunday 1

From [Untitled]:

The Forms - Oberlin
The Forms - Transmission

The Forms' Myspace
Buy Icarus here (for $2.34...)


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