Monday, October 19, 2009

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's -- because you don't always want to dance (B+)

Let's be honest. There's a reason that radio stations play Lady Gaga over Morrissey at a rate of about 10,000 to 1. People would rather listen to upbeat, albeit lyrically lacking songs, than be reminded, quite poetically, about how awful their lives are. This is one of the reasons remixes and mashups even exist. Take a song we already like, inject it with a harder bassline and more persistent drum-kick... and we can make it something we love even more.

Sometimes, however, I feel like relaxing a bit... and I wouldn't be surprised if you do too. If you find yourself in this latter sort of mood, give Margot & the Nuclear So and So's a listen. They have been likened to Arcade Fire and The Decemberists... but I think these comparisons are largely flawed.

Unlike Arcade Fire's occasional grandeur, Margot's music sounds extremely stripped down, even where it is relatively complex and layered. Richard Edwards, Margot's lead vocalist, is also much less crass than the Decemberist's Colin Meloy. While Meloy reminds me more of Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum vocally, Edwards is more reminiscent of a mix between Death Cab's Ben Gibbard and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst (in my opinion).

Here are a couple tracks from the band's 2008 album Not Animal -- which are songs preferred by their record label Epic. The band also released Animal! -- only available on vinyl -- which included the tracks the band preferred.

Enjoy these tunes.

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