04 October 2006

Proud Simon

Aw yeah. Back to checking out some lesser known bands who deserve to be heard. Proud Simon got in touch with EAR FARM via MySpace a while ago and thankfully I finally got around to listening their music. Or should I say the music of Brian Keenan? The Proud Simon MySpace page explains: "Proud Simon is the music of Brian Keenan and friends. Experimenting with traditional American music structures, they create a whirlwind of sounds and stories."

Indeed, they do paint quite a picture of sounds and stories built upon traditional American music structures, but that's only telling part of the story. This is a band whose sound fits very comfortably alongside contemporaries such as Sufjan Stevens, The Magnetic Fields, and The Decemberists yet Proud Simon has managed to carve their own little niche within this seemingly overpopulated genre. "American Caskets" opens like some dark Parisian carnival tune and quickly blossoms into a skipping jaunt full of all kinds of instrumentation. Layers of percussion, guitars, and harmonica all blend perfectly with the vocal mix so the listener is able to enjoy each part while still taking in the lyrics. My favorite part of the song: the nearly subliminal, lovely, female backing vocals. Readers of this site may have noticed by now my love of well balanced male/female vocals and in "American Caskets" Proud Simon has achieved a very nice, delicate, mix.

The second song I've selected, "Victory March", dives right into action after a little bass guitar tease. Yoyoing its way through an intro of mini climaxes the song settles into a melancholic groove of rhythm guitar, harmony, handclaps, and horns until halfway through the band surprises with a mini classical piano interlude. It all works very well and there's something about "Victory March" that reminds me of Belle and Sebastian back in the "Dog on Wheels" days. I used to listen to that EP all the time on warm summer days with my car windows rolled down driving between the art museum and the coffee shop as I contemplated lyrics for my fledgling band. Proud Simon's "Victory March" would've been a very welcome co-pilot on those journeys. There's just so much about this song that's right for me personally, so I say check it out for yourself. In a quietly content manner it might just make you go "aw yeah".

Listen:
"American Caskets"
"Victory March"

Visit Proud Simon on MySpace.

See Proud Simon LIVE on October 6th @ Pete's Candy Store.
--
***It's been far too long since I've really been able to sink my teeth into new music from all of the bands who send me things. For that, I apologize. Rest assured that I will indeed listen to everything and tell you EAR FARM readers about those bands that most make me go "aw yeah". In fact, I'm going to make a concentrated effort to make this month all about lesser known bands who've sent stuff my way. If you're in a band and you'd like to send something for EAR FARM to check out, please do! You can get in touch via EAR FARM's MySpace page or via email (contact info HERE).***

5 comments:

Aleesa said...

really cool. I loved victory march..awesome. reminds me of page france or something.

Anonymous said...

the radiohead weekend show mp3s don't work anymore!!! ='0( could you please repost or fix it, please??

Matt said...

yeah, i'm still having the same problem with my hosting that i mentioned HERE. i apologize and im trying to figure out what i can do to best fix things.

jim said...

the radiohead links are working fine for me and i like this proud simon. proud mary. simple simon,. something about it makes me happy

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