First Look: Ravens & Chimes – Reichenbach Falls

Down the river of golden dreams?

And here I was getting ready to stop being excited about 2007. Ravens & Chimes’ debut album, Reichenbach Falls, is the kind of heart-on-sleeve, acoustic-inflected indie rock release that people (read: critics) ordinarily go apeshit over. Since I haven’t heard much ruckus (props, Said the Gramz and Largehearted Bro) about the band yet, let me be among the first: This is an unbelievable album. [Continue reading…]

The band kicks out the same kind of jams as Shearwater and Okkervil River or a much less melodramatic (and not so misguidedly political) Arcade Fire; the songs are at once pretty and razor-edged, all anger and melancholy and extraordinary craft. Most of them are staggering, blending chamber-folk prettiness with breakneck rock energy in a foggy, autumnal way that I’d swear could only come from Canada (though dudes are apparently from New York).

The lyrical content is squarely on the Bright Eyes tip (sans credulity-and-eardrum-straining vocals), which is particularly evident in “January”: “I don’t know where these feelings started / but you better let ’em go / because there’s things about me I don’t want you to know,” goes one of my favorite lines, or this one: “To hear a voice so sweet / Say I’m not a disappointment / I am not a disappointment…” Hardly. You might be the biggest surprise of the year, guys. Enjoy the fall – I’ll see you again in list-making season.

Ravens & Chimes – “January”: mp3
Ravens & Chimes – “General Lafeyette, You Are Not Alone”: mp3

(Reichenbach Falls is due Oct. 9 on Better Looking Records)


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