"In Service of the Villain" CD
Genres: psychedelic pop, indie pop, experimental pop
Jan 24 - 30 2005
Your Team Ring's Gabriel Walsh is a strange little
songwriter. He has a pop sensibility akin to Elf Power or
a more restrained Of Montreal, but he buries his compositions
in layers of sound, hiding melodies under glockenspiel, recorder, tape
loops, and many other interesting instruments. The vocals have a
young, sweet quality to them (think Sparklehorse or Elf Power),
but the elaborate nature of the instruments frequently seems to draw
the listener's attention away from the singing.
Key to In Service of the Villain's success is its textural
(and stylistic) variety. Over the duration of thirteen songs,
we're pulled into a number of different moods and themes. Each
song is a different experience, making the album seem something like a
selection of unique vignettes, each one waiting to pull you into its
own little world. Often the sound is peppy and psychedelic
("Damaged Goods," "Failure of Design"), while at
other times it is a little more traditional ("Smiles Wide,"
"Read Like a Frozen Foundling"). There are also a
group of more experimental instrumentals ("Thoughts of Norea,"
"Who is from Silence") included to even the bunch out.
In Service of the Villain is certainly an album of
ingenuity; it combines extremely original ideas with a distinct
accessibility. Trust me; you'd be doing yourself an injustice to ignore
such a strangely wonderful album.
3 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2003]