Friday, June 15, 2007

Primary Colors

Through the magic of e-mail, a couple of fresh new artists have recently come to our attention here at the Canals. To promote their respective new releases, Los Angeles native Frankel and North Carolina's own Bowerbirds have sent us a few tracks that have now found their way onto my regular playlist in the past few days. First, we'll deal with Frankel:

"It's a shame spending days/ In the throws of tooth decay"

Frankel (or, as he is known to his familiars, Michael Orendy), has been described as a fresh mix of the Flaming Lips, Elliott Smith, and Wilco. It's understandable that this is the simplest way of marketing an artist, but is it really necessary to label him so directly? It also seems to explain why we were contacted about him, as our previous posts have included such musicians, but such a cursory and unimaginative description alone shouldn't persuade someone to listen to Frankel. After all, why make brown when you can get the primary colors? Stepping over some pretty hefty piles of bullshit, I put my ear to the phonograph and had a listen to the tracks off his debut album, Lullaby For The Passerby.

The songs are sunny affairs with catchy melodies and pleasing instrumentation, definitely worth a look at the rest of the album. There was one thing that rubbed me a bit awkwardly, though. I couldn't resolve whether I was impressed by Orendy performing all of the instruments, or if it made it seem less organic or full in some way. Despite that little capo on my brain, I really enjoyed the songs, and if I had to make a comparison to anyone it would probably be fellow indie-folk troubadour, Benjy Ferree. The romping drums and up-tempo strumming on Thermostat really reminded me of In the Countryside off of Ferree's Leaving the Nest. So, now that I've added my own two cents, check out Frankel's new release, Lullaby For The Passerby.

Frankel -- Thermostat
Frankel -- Tooth Decay

Buy Lullaby here.


1 comment:

Jacob said...

"After all, why make brown when you can get the primary colors?" One of the greatest quotes of all time. I have always hated when reviewers just write what other bands a group sounds like, and now I know why. Thank you Benjy, thank you.