Cheering You On

Courtesy of Bishop Allen

The music of NYC band Bishop Allen is pretty essentialist. Stripped to its barest aspects, the band’s songs are studies in naked rock ‘n’ roll. The group put out an EP a month in 2006, in limited 2000-disc pressings, so it’s no wonder they didn’t get a lot of time to experiment. The EP project instead allowed the band the chance to hone its craft. For that’s what these songs are: pure craft, little more than melody, harmony and some basic dynamics.

Some critics have relegated them to a mere blog-band — that’s usually a pejorative, but when your foremost supporter is You Ain’t No Picasso, it starts to sound a lot more like a compliment. Me, I call ’em anti-fey indie-pop, an ’06/’07 answer to Beulah or early Death Cab for Cutie. Their latest full-length is due out on Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar imprint Dead Oceans in the fall. I haven’t heard it yet, but it’s composed of re-done tracks from the EPs. With time in the studio to flesh the songs out, chances are it’ll be a lot less stripped down. Either way, it’s time to get familiar.

Bishop Allen – “Corazon”: mp3
Bishop Allen – “Click Click Click Click”: mp3
(from the January and July EPs, respectively)

(All 12 EPs are available on Bishop Allen’s website)


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