While not completely a concept album, most of the album was inspired by a series of Depression-era newspapers that guitarist, Pierre Kaiser, found buried beneath the old floors of his 1908 Portland home. While at first simply entertaining, the band realized that the cast of characters and their stories contained within those pages offered a strong source of material for an album. They took these kernels from time and brought them back to life in their songs.
With the story-telling element embedded within the album, as well as the overall texture of the sound of the album, listeners will be strongly reminded of another northwest band, The Decemberists. (listen to Battle of San Jacinto below and the The Crane Wife 3 and then try to disagree). Not to say that they're a total knock-off. At points their sound is a little hushed, reminiscent of Owen (albeit sunnier), and similarly in other places, pleasing harmonies hint at Simon & Garfunkel refrains.
I'm not one for making vainglorious predictions, but I think this album is going to stick (at least I'm rooting for it). Help make my foresight 20 / 20 by listening to the following and then buying the entire album.
The Dimes - Jersey Kid : The Silent Generation
The Dimes - Battle of San Jacinto : The Silent Generation
Owen - A Bird In Hand : At Home With Owen
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife 3 : The Crane Wife