Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Three for Wednesday: Uniform Motion, Charlie Alex March, The Heligoats

Uniform Motion

Uniform Motion was first described to me as "our favorite Anglo-French illustrated indie folk band," and I suppose since I have no other Anglo-French indie folk bands to compare them to, they've become mine as well. But speaking less specifically, Uniform Motion has recently released a lovely album called Life that I think just about anyone would enjoy no matter the comparisons. The group's smooth and subtle sound isn't just easy on the ears, it's filled with soft hooks and engaging melodies that make the eight tracks of the record pass far too quickly. The delicate harmonies comprising opener "Saving Up For Sundays" and the more upbeat pop of "Roll Over" are two great examples of what makes this band and this record worthy of our time and attention.

Check out a video for "Saving Up For Sundays" below:

Saving up for Sundays from Uniform Motion on Vimeo.


Charlie Alex March

"It's a beautiful glockenspiel and string-led instrumental that gently comes and goes in under three minutes. Delightful." So said David Bowie of one of UK musician/producer Charlie Alex March's previously released songs, and while I don't know which song it was, similar praise could appropriately be ascribed to much of March's full-length debut, Home/Hidden. Mixing cool electronic elements with warm strings and percussion, March creates relaxing, yet intriguing soundscapes over the 31 minutes of his new record. And while it's not, due to its subdued nature, an album that is likely to garner much attention this year, it's a shame that it will be overlooked by so many because the music is truly gorgeous. Highlights include the spacey, clap-happy "Cortot N° 7," it's majestic counterpart "Cortot N° 6" and the spare piano number "Son of a Joe."

Cortot N° 6 (MP3)


The Heligoats

They've now been around for over ten years, but The Heligoats have kept a low profile for the entirety of their existence. Led by Chris Otepka, the band has taken various forms over the years, sometimes existing as a solo project for Otepka outside his former main gig, Troubled Hubble. I haven't heard their earlier material, but I can certainly recommend the group's latest, Goodness Gracious, a solid indie rock record with strangely compelling songwriting and hooks to spare. Whether playing earnest power-pop ("Fishsticks") or delicate balladry ("Goodness Gracious"), Otepka's even tenor voice and unique musical personality make for a winning combination and provide plenty of reasons to listen again and again. Ten years is far too long, don't let these guys go undiscovered any longer.

Fish Sticks (MP3)