16 March 2011

Streak and the Raven: “The Federation” EP

With the modernization of all the worlds’ music, it is nice to take a step back and take a breath. There is a strange anamorphic vision that seems to float through the mind when listening to music that flows like a quiet stream on a spring afternoon with the birds relaying their songs to one another. Nice imagery huh? Sometimes it is hard to come by bands that convey this type of expressionistic overlay; there are known bands such as Explosions in the Sky, Chairlift, Télépopmusik, and maybe even Emiliana Torrini. Unfortunately they have not had the recognition they deserve; they need to be dug up and put on display to receive their rightful recognition. In many ways, that process is the best part, when there is something new and unknown that can become enchanting, and what is enchanting me at this moment is Streak and the Raven. After they e-mailed SDM (blog), we took a listen, and I knew I wanted to be the one to review “The Federation” EP (8 February 2011). They have the ability to reintroduce their listeners to easy-listening music with a twist, whether it is the use of words or even the choice of how instruments should be played.

Hailing from Finland, this nascent band came into existence two years ago, with their instruments in hand and straps slung over their shoulders. They created their own vortex in the time and space continuum by conveying music that illustrates the everyday with its peaks and valleys – in essence, panorama pop. After a few dates at major festivals during last summer, the band would return to the studio in December to compose and record their new EP, “The Federation,” which they mostly recorded live. Hopefully you will also notice the warmth of the sessions comes through in their songs despite the biting cold of the past winter. This time they dropped some of the guitars and devoted themselves to vocal harmonies and oscillators.

The title, “The Federation,” does indeed convey the idea of unity that embodies something significant. The music is not as strict as the names are but when considered it is imagined that one is trying to eradicate memories from a lost time, it is almost as if there is an idea of floating that needs to be passed through the songs, an idea of what it might be like to be a Raven, perhaps. The first track is “The Federation Begins”, as for a beginning this definitely is one: I see it as there being an essence of a journey that is near and with its approach there is a raven that has come to lead them. “The Federation March” is like a marching song, and most seemingly it is almost dangerously painful. Painful in the context that there is something important to be conducted, there is imagery of one traveling with strangers who are focused on the same concentration. And finally there is a feeling of relief and a lack of tension which was indeed needed for the final track; “Stones and Berries” gives vision of being alone with only a single heartbeat resounding in the open air… somewhere in a forest maybe. As an artist, I figure it is a wonderful thing to float through the visceral creations of one’s mind and this band might be one of the best that I have heard thus far this year, in terms of the way that I am inspired to paint things that fly everywhere.

One listen to Streak and the Raven and I was instantly hooked. Like a fish caught fast in a net, Streak and the Raven caught my attention. I so suggest that if you would like to float off into a parallel universe of illustrated backgrounds and a constant heartbeat of drumming, you should then take a moment to introduce yourself to Streak and the Raven’s “The Federation” EP.

Track Listing:
1. The Federation Begins
2. The Federation March
3. Stones and Berries

Keep up with Streak and the Raven at their homepage (where you can experience their music), MySpace, and Facebook.

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