Oh my god. My little sister (the nun) just left me a little voicemail, singing a line from Plants and Animals – Bye Bye Bye:
Oh, today I saw a flower
And I had the feeling there would be another
One in the wintertime and one in the summer
And she said, "I've had it my head all day." I almost cried from the sweetness of it.
I'm careful not to give my sister much music. That's not really what her life is about now, and she's definitely prone to obsession in music in a way even I can't match. But when I last saw her at the Reiser-Cohen Wedding, I burned a bunch of CD's for us to listen to in the rental car. (While I was there, I missed Plants and Animals playing in Seattle!) My mom bought a little CD case and we sent all the CD's home with Elisabeth. She didn't like Plants and Animals too much on first listen, but I encouraged her to give it another try. Her little plaintive verse was her way of sending a sweet little acknowledgment that this is, in fact, a really awesome album.
I ignored it for several months myself, after a couple of cursory listens, until it hit Pitchfork's Overlooked Records of 2008 list, and I decided to give it a few more listens.
Oh, am I glad I did. A warmer, more lovely, more sincere rock album could hardly have happened in 2008.
Oh, okay, it's indie rock, but hey, even people who like regular, pretty mainstream rock could get into this album, I think. Chamber music, classic rock, boogie woogie, soul music… all of these seem like influences in what is an album that I truly think will stand the test of time. The songs are built around some amazing arpeggio-based guitar playing, but horns, string instraments, and many other instraments make a rich sound for this band out of Montreal.
There's not too many indie albums I hear these days made with such good-humored, light-hearted skill, and this album really is a hidden gem.
Two songs from this one, since they're so different. The sublime and mellow À L'orée Des Bois, which seems to tell a story of making the album in an apartment:[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/05-a-loree-des-bois.mp3]
And the more rocking funk-jam Mercy:[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/08-mercy.mp3]