Our many thanks to Marc Ostermeier for keeping SDM Blog in the loop.
April showers bring May flowers. “Like a Fire without Sound” (26 April 2011); personally I think those two fit together as snuggly as a sock on a foot. Where am I going with this? Well I’m trying to convey a sort of therapeutic imagery. Recently, I sat down with SDM and listened to Should’s new album “Like a Fire without Sound”; in the midst of opening this little music box I wasn’t sure what I’d be expecting. To my surprise… this was something extraordinary for the auditory. (Knowing how busy SDM has regrettably been, I knew I had to write this review with urgency and get the word out on this amazing band.)
I’ll be honest, “Like a Fire without Sound” is an extremely peaceful album, and in fact it has to be the most tranquil album I’ve listened to thus far. Should is a two person band who has been creating spectacular mental mosaics since 1998. Should’s music is neither absurd nor too silent; their music is actually very dream-popish with a hint of shoegaze. And as the melodies continue there is always the little spice of post-rock that spruces up the vicinity.
First of all I’d like to pull out the album’s name into spotlight: “Like a Fire without Sound,” what is traced into one’s memory? The Yule log? The 70’s? “Kingdom Hearts” (for all the modern readers)? The album starts off very slowly and well it remains at such a pace. Since May has started off as an extremely busy month for me it’s actually nice to take a seat and listen to something as calming as Should’s new album.
On my very first listen, I was automatically seduced when the first track came into play: “Glasshouse,” as attractive as the name is I was inspired to whirl myself into a midday daydream. With the intro being so eloquently composed one can only have a world of imaginations. Should enlaces their listeners with very enchanting lyrics -- “And I think I heard silence, for the first time it hit me,” which is why I am rushed into thoughts of a crackling fire that cannot speak through its charring cinders or being besides a babbling brook that refuses to hum.
With the following tracks of “Turned Tables,” “Slumberland,” and “Awake at Night,” I was sent on a prolific emotional roller coaster. When “Turned Tables” announced itself in my ears I was quiet excited since the prior track had made me a bit exhausted mentally. Its upbeat flow and slightly exotic use of guitar and drums allows the song to rise effortlessly just like their lyrics “Floating to the stars above, falling in clouds of love, daylight would have to wait.” But after this song slowly dissipates we are reduced to the rather quiet and slowed “Slumberland,” which seems to set the rather hyped heart from before to calm down a tad. And even with “Slumberland’s” catchy riffs we are introduced to the anxiety of “Awake at Night.” As vocalist Marc Ostermeier begins the song slowly in almost a lullaby-esque ambience by singing softly, “His hands are small, they settle down to rest upon his lap; his mind’s at ease, he breathes night air; there’s nothing much to see and I like watching him fighting to stay awake at night.” As I listened to this track (maybe the first several times) I imagined Ostermeier’s words as they were put into play, in my mind I see simple flash backs of being in a silent suburb, somewhere in a car driving down a road with much foliage. The fact that I can envision something so intricate really shows that Should has set a stable in my mind.
Of all the amazing tracks on Should’s “Like a Fire without Sound,” the very last track. “The Great Pretend,” has to be my favorite track. It’s a little more upbeat than the rest despite the extremely soft vocals of Ostermeier and Maus. Together they convey a harmonic peace that seems to captivate the noggin and send it into a side to side head bob. But let us replay all the thoughts that were placed on the table and simplify them: why listen to the same old music over and over again? Especially when you’ve had a hideous week thus far? Why not, instead of listening to the playlist that is literally embedded into your brain, listen to something that isn’t of the norm! Personally I think shifty dream-pop is an amazingly tantalizing for the ears when you’re used to the heavy creamer. And maybe, just maybe, you too will “Sit there for hours.” But to end on a rather serious note, take a scroll and a couple clicks over until you find Should’s new album, honestly it’s worth the listen, and it’s definitely worth the midday daydreams.
2. Turned Tables
4. Awake at Night
5. Just not Today
7. Always Returning
8. Famour for Her Dress
9. The Great Pretend
Keep up with Should at their homepage and MySpace. Feel free to head over to the Words On Music site where you can preview tracks and purchase the album.
Here is their video for “Turned Tables” from their Vimeo Channel: Should.