Angels Of Light Sing ‘Other People’

[Young God; 2005]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: folk-rock, experimental rock, pysch-folk
Others: Swans, Frog Eyes, Songs: Ohia, The Consumer, Devendra Banhart

One indie-folk album, contents: 20 instruments, 10 musicians, 10 seconds of drumming, trace amounts of electric instruments, crickets. There are certain traits and actions observable to any music fan regardless of personal taste that separate true artists from mere product producers. One of these is the embracement of change and the willingness to try new things seriously, like how Beck and Radiohead are constantly changing style and content. Lyricist, vocalist, guitarist, and Young God label owner Michael Gira has surely undergone some changes over the past couple of decades. The obvious change would naturally be the transition from leading the way in avant-garde fringe punk to this eclectic, largely acoustic folk effort. Turning his back on lengthy instrumental passages and cluttered crescendos, Gira sets anything electric to a minimum and essentially banned drums, effectively opening up the songs on Sing 'Other People.' "My Friend Thor" mixes instrumentation reminiscent of Four Tet with high register, bizarre vocal stylings Frank Zappa would have certainly appreciated. The lyrics to this and every track is strongly character-based. Over Gira and Akron/Family's varied but levelly mixed soundscape, the novelistic lyricism forges 'Other People' into a unique narrative form in an age of relentless, impersonal "rock you, baby" pop tunes. It's like an audiobook with the best music ever featured in the medium. Take that, Simon & Shuster.

1. Lena's Song
2. The Kid Is Already Breaking
3. My Friend Thor
4. On the Mountain
5. Destroyer
6. Dawn
7. My Sister Said
8. Michael's White Hands
9. To Live Through Someone
10. Simon Is Stronger Than Us
11. Purple Creek
12. Jackie's Spine

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