Friday, March 14, 2008

Gowns are more than just clothes

The other day, while browsing Stereogum, I stumbled upon a lovely little band called Gowns. Raw and intensely emotional, their sound reminds me of a few of Akron/Family's calmer, lower key songs. I suppose they could be lumped into the freak-folk category, but they're an easier listen than most artists of this genre (see: Danielson). Their songs incorporate acoustic guitar, a capella harmonies/lyrics, and lots of piano feedback. Right down my alley.

Anyways, here’s a bit more about the band. Originally composed of 3 people (lead singer/guitarist Erika Anderson, drummer Corey Fogel, and synth man Ezra Buchla), Gowns recently added drummer Jacob Huele and bassist Aaron Davis to their ensemble. Although the group originally formed in 2004, they only just released their first full-length album, Red State,in 2007. Recorded in homes, basements, and rooms between Los Angeles and South Dakota, it chronicles the life of the band in flyover zones.

Let me go over a few of the standout tracks on Red State. Rope is almost a whisper of a song, and captures the thoughts of someone whose world is falling apart. White Like Heaven gives you a pessimistic punch in the heart, with lyrics like "I saw thirty seconds turn into 10,000 years, and it was horrible" detailing the darker side of life. Another favourite, Clawless, is a hauntingly beautiful a capella track which begins with a single voice then transitions into a series of harmonies.

This band doesn't even need instruments.

A few tracks for your listening enjoyment:
Gowns- Rope (Demo)
Gowns- Feathers

& more on their myspace

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