Saturday, July 05, 2008

The (not so) Old Believers

I first heard This Mortal Coil's third album Blood about twelve years ago. Even now I would say that it is the most beautiful album I've ever heard. It's twenty-one tracks, spanning over an hour, are simply the most lush, dreamful, atmospheric loveliness that's been put together on one album. Why do I mention this? I'll get there in a minute

The Old Believers are made up of Alaska natives Nelson Kempf and Keeley Boyle, and quite contrary to their group's name, they are quite young. The pair are getting set to release their latest album, Eight Golden Greats (which coincidentally has eight tracks!), in a few days on the 10th. The tracks alternate back and forth with lead vocal duties, although on many the partner offers some backing support. As a result of this alternation, in some ways the album feels like two albums interlocked with one another.

The first track, There It Is, leads off with Nelson's voice front and center and has an old time frumpy feeling to it (in the kindest sense of the word!). Keeley makes her presence felt on the second track, No More (listen to it below), and here is where the This Mortal Coil connection comes into play. This is easily my favorite track from the album in that it instantly reminded me of their album Blood, which quite obviously is a most positive connection for me.

Keeley provides lead vocals for three of the tracks on the album, and although I enjoy Nelson's, these are the stand-outs for yours truly. They're lusciously divine ear candy with a feather-lite touch. After going back and listening to Blood, the tracks here have more layers of instrumentation, but I'd still suggest they're an extension of that same vibe. Keeley, any chance of a full album of your lovely voice?

After trading leads back and forth over the course of the album, track six Waltz #3 offers a duet experience with the pair of voices hazily melded together over, yes, you guessed it, a waltzy song. The album ends with another song featuring Nelson, who just to prove I don't dislike, I'll offer up a track from earlier in the album: Granny's Song.

As mentioned before, the album comes out for purchase on the 10th, but if you head over to the pair's website, you can actually get the entire album for free. I'm not sure how long it will be there, and I'd certainly suggest financially supporting the pair regardless. If you're on the west coast, hit up one of their shows and show some love.

Visit their website, their label Fine Romantic Recordings, and become their friend on MySpace.


This Mortal Coil - You and Your Sister : Blood

West Coast Tour Dates

7/11/2008 The Finger Complex Olympia, WA
7/14/2008 Cosmic Pizza Eugene, OR
7/15/2008 Gypsy Town Hall Nevada City, CA
7/16/2008 The True Love Café Sacramento, CA
7/18/2008 Live on ‘Cool as Folk’ on KDVS Davis, CA
7/18/2008 Sophia’s Thai Kitchen Davis, CA
7/19/2008 The House of Shields San Francisco, CA
7/20/2008 The Queen Bean Modesto, CA
7/21/2008 Live on Hunny Pot Radio Los Angeles, CA
7/23/2008 Silverlake Lounge Los Angeles, CA
7/26/2008 Raven Café Prescott, AZ
7/30/2008 Neurolux Boise, ID
8/1/2008 Pickathon Festival Portland, OR

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