A Slice of Fried Gold

Slices of Fried Gold (Canopy Glow edition)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm an unabashed fanboy of Anathallo. I want this to be known in the beginning, as I think their album Floating World is one of the best albums I've ever heard and that they make some of the most beautiful music period. I've also heard that their live show is incredibly awesome, but that is not something I can personally verify. However, I do say I feel like I would freaking love it.

Their new album Canopy Glow is coming out this Tuesday, and I strongly encourage everyone to pick it up. The majority of the planet has likely not even heard of this band, let alone is excited about this release, but I'm here to give you reasons to do just that. I've had it for a little while (a bit over a week) and just received my preorder of the actual album, and am in love with it.

Canopy Glow is, comparatively to Floating World, a dark album. It maintains all of the beauty and the grandiosity of their debut LP, but it is assuredly a more solemn album overall. Tracks like "Tower of Babel" and "Sleeping Torpor" really demonstrate a darker direction for the band, replacing the foot stomping and hand clapping splendor typically shown on songs with what one could describe as minimalism, solitude, and even a modicum of restraint.

This is not a bad thing, it just allows the band to stretch their legs in a different direction while maintaining the beauty they exude on a track to track basis. The amazing thing that they do as a band is filling a track with a variety of instruments and expansive layers, but cultivating a melodic and exquisite sound within all of the tracks. Thanks can be given in particular to primary vocalists Matt Joynt and Erica Froman (who is given more to work with in the original cut - nicknamed Engine Glow, which is actually preferable as her vocal layers really kick the sound up a notch) who are featured more heavily than on World, but the structured chaos the instrumentalists provide us give you a listening experience that is never the same twice and quite the treat when you have a great pair of headphones.

Nothing demonstrates the album's grandeur better than tracks four and seven, "the River" and "All the First Pages." Both tracks provide very literary lyrics (primarily "All the First Pages" which tells the story of an astronaut who returned with his relationships forever altered) that are laid out with intertwined vocals between Joynt and Froman, while providing provocative and perpetually developing instrumentals. These songs best exhibit the bands overall ability as not just a musical group but as storytellers, drawing us in with their intelligence but ultimately capturing us with the emotion they imbue the music with.

This is a strong contender for my favorite album of the year and I wish the band the best of luck in receiving the attention they deserve for this stellar album. At the very least, I hope Pitchfork actually gives them a legitimate review this time and that they pick up plenty of new fans.

Also, for those that are interested, standout track "the River" is up for a free download at Music for Kids Who Can't Read Good. Check it out here. If I haven't convinced you to check this album out, the song will do that for me.


Patty said...

I see this cover is featured in EW.

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