The Bright Grey Wing
Genres: indie pop, lo-fi
245 Hyde St.
San Francisco CA
Jan 26 - Feb 1 2004
remember the days of carefree pop-for-the-sake-of-it that K Recs and
co. specialized in? The Microphones, Some Velvet
Sidewalk, Beat Happening, et al? Perhaps you weren't
in the loop at the time, perhaps you were - but everyone remembers it
in some way, whether they were there to experience it or not.
The Bright Grey Wing certainly recall that era.
Though a bit less gritty than true 80s/90s Olympia fare, the band's
short, almost impatient (yet still laidback) pop tunes share that same
melodic zest and 'cuteness' that is looked back on so fondly.
Very infrequently more than two minutes long, I's seventeen songs
often sound more like fragments than actual songs, but are still
overwhelmingly beautiful in their brevity.
Case in point. The opening number, "Tavern Song," is a
pretty fifty second instrumental (think Elephant 6 calibre.)
It is followed by another short song - clocking in at a minute and
fourteen seconds - featuring sweet female vocals sung over a clinky guitar
background; though relatively straightforward, its minor-key melodies
and bizarre song structure are by no means conventional. Track
three is a bit of anomaly, it being slightly over three minutes - but
one listen confirms that it shares the same melodic mysticism that
binds I together so well.
But these are only three of this disc's remarkable seventeen
tracks. There are so many other fantastic moments.
"Hope" (forty-five seconds, if you're wondering) recreates
an old Hebrew melody using some pleasant flute-playing.
"Ugly," meanwhile, is a dark chamber pop tune that recalls Wild
Love-era Smog. And "The End" is a thirty
two second acoustic cover of the apocalyptic Doors classic.
I is unusual, but far from unlistenable. Any true
indie pop lover owes it to him- or herself to hunt this album down and
[Vitals: 17 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2003]