28 November 2008

The Dodos - 'Winter'

There are, ultimately, only so many ways of saying fuck, this is great, but fuck, this is great.

Here's a precise, controlled offering from the Dodos, the latest in a wave of US bands who wash up on these shores and do what we used to do ourselves, only better. It comes in cycles. Just accept it. It's their turn, and hey, America's cool again now, right?

Their stuff is a heady mix of disparate influences, and there is pointy-headed musicological fun, if you are that way inclined, to be had in unravelling them. Right now West Coast psychedelia, modern folk, the Walker Brothers maybe and more recently Beirut are springing to mind, but whenever I say something like this someone will correct me and leave a spot-on comment underlining what a cloth-eared dolt I really am. A year later. Or how about they're sort of like Yeasayer, but without the Genesis thing going on? This one's simple and complex at the same time, always a winning combination in this parish. Deep, eighties indie drums are joined by what I'd very much like to be a mandolin, and then lucious, almost crooning vocal. Someone appears to have been having a bad time of it, but will be over the worst ere next spring. Then a mournful bit of brass completes the job.

And of course it is, err, winter right now, at least in this particular hemisphere, but this is, for once, no lame attempt on this website's part to be topical. Tales of regret and longing suit any season, and I stumbled upon it only recently via the magic of Hype Machine, where you can find this and more. It is now frequently played on that great radio station that goes in my head and finds its way onto many a CD pressed into the reluctant hands of bewildered and begrudging acquintances. It's from an LP called Visiter - ah, those cute mispellings - which has been out for an age and which for some reason I don't seem to have, and for this I can only beg forgiveness and promise to take according corrective measures.

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