Rand and Holland Tomorrow Will Be Like Today

[Staubgold; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: experimental, pop, psychedelia
Others: The Delgados, Mercury Rev, Arab Strap

Anyone that thinks procrastination doesn't pay off never wrote music reviews. Since this album arrived in my mailbox almost six months ago, I've listened to it numerous times and have had plenty of time to digest it in full. I've listened to it in every conceivable scenario: computer speakers, portable CD player with high quality headphones, car stereo, crappy car stereo, the terrible jambox at work that has one blown speaker and can't really handle any bass frequencies. In this time, this album has gone from frustratingly bland to at least listenable to its current status of very good.

Tomorrow Will Be Like Today is the debut solo offering from Brett Thompson (a.k.a Rand and Holland), and a fine one at that. With help from fellow Sydney-ites Chris Townend, Scott Horscroft, and (experimental kids take note) Oren Ambarchi, Thompson creates sparse yet somehow lush atmospheres based mostly around his subtle bass and understated voice. The gentle tones and hyper-acoustic drums on "Sleepless Nights" and "Love Is" add to the ethereal environment, creating a fragile landscape of pop melodies shrouded in a haze of thick fog.

There's also an incredible amount of religious overtones, or at least a sense of strongly held faith. With titles like "God's Little Acre" and the lyrics of "Everybody Wants to Go" and "Tomorrow Will Be Like Today," you get a sense that maybe Brett Thompson is searching for something. Or maybe not. There's a good chance I've read way too much into this album, seeing as how I've listened to it every two or three weeks (or at least thought about listening to it) since I received it. But either way, this is an album that definitely gets stronger with repeated listens. So if you're unsure of it at first, let it age awhile and come back to it; you'll almost assuredly think higher of it the next time around.

1. God's Little Acre
2. Open My Eyes
3. Let Me Down Gently
4. Sleepless Nights
5. Everyone Wants to Go
6. Love Is
7. Run Faye Run
8. Tomorrow Will Be Like Today