Well it seems yet another group has decided to jump on the bandwagon to lullaby lane. And I mean this not to imply dull, lifeless music that you might well associate with elevators and dentists’ waiting rooms, but as a movement of folk and countryfied indulgence that will bring you back to the summer of love where music and running though fields in your underpants went hand in hand.
Picture yourself sitting on the bank of a gurgling stream with the grass crunching under your bare feet and the cool summer breeze tickling your golden locks. Thousands, in essence, is this. A hazy concoction of tipsy finger-pickings that intertwine with dreamy care-free melodies. The sensual and nature-inspired lyrics provoke calm, earthy imagery that will bring you back to your folk roots.
Let’s put Thousands in perspective. Double-act Kristian Garrard and Luke Bergman from Seattle were adopted by their label Bella Union via a bit of plugging from their friend Skye Skjelset, the guitarist for Fleet Foxes. Much like For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver, Thousands recorded The Sound of Everything in some adventurous locations to create the naturalistic, ad hoc backing tracks (enough to make John Cage smile) which so define their sound. In creating this album, Kristian and Luke endeavoured “to travel around Oregon and Washington looking for interesting or inspiring places to record. To get away from the sterile sounds we were achieving at home, and to offer something with a real sense of place.”
With Thousands’ first taster, ‘MTSES III’, a feeling of naivete is expressed with the simplistic guitar accompaniment and the stripped-down, youthful lyrics exude an element of a happier Simon and Garfunkel in their earlier years. The contrapuntal whirlpool of cascading melodies trickle playfully between the guitar and soothing vocals.
‘At The Edges’ is faster and more concerned in its minor key. The small harmonic dissonances in the guitar against the lamenting vocal line evoke memories of that wondrous experiences of your first romance where your stomach was tickled with a Thousand butterflies. The lyrics are close to the bone and appeal with a rare authenticity. There is no doubt that this album is leaving Thousands exposed and vulnerable, without the riff-raff of these modern synths, regurgitated dance tracks and auto-tuning.
The Sound of Everything echoes a quiet air of confidence, and has every right to do so.
Record Label: Bella Union
Release Date: 21/03/11