Thursday, January 04, 2007
The Shot Heard 'Round the World - Ten Songs for Town and Country
Emerson described the opening battle of the Revolutionary War as "the shot heard 'round the world", and a few centuries later a descendant would start an indie-pop band in Brooklyn and choose the phrase for their name. Really, their name is irony; the band is many good things, but revolutionary ain't one of 'em.
Anti-revolutionary, maybe; this is pop that draws from can't-miss 60's influences: the Byrds, Motown, Phil Spector, et al. This ground has been re-covered in a modern-indie context by plenty of bands, some of them really well (Beechwood Sparks, Aislers Set, Saturday Looks Good To Me). The Shot Heard 'Round the World, though, is a great addition to the list, lending their tunes a real homespun intimacy that brings out the gentle melancholy at the heart of the best of this sort of music.
Ten Songs for Town and Country is a record clearly made with care. Layers of vocals, tasteful piano, positively weepy trombone, all sound great in a casual listen but really shine with headphones. Listen to the ending of "Cassiopia" carefully, and you hear how great arrangement and production can really create an atmosphere, a space.
The vocals are enjoyably shaggy, the lyrics hitting the sweet spots of longing, hope, and resignation. On "Town & Country", the band leaps from a pretty intro into full-on retro bliss, channelling The Mamas and the Papas' best moments of hazy wistful reflection ("and the day is passing on...").
Check out their website, where you can buy the record and hear more songs, and catch them live January 25th at the Cake Shop in NYC.
MP3: The Shot Heard 'Round the World - Casseopeia
MP3: The Shot Heard 'Round the World - Town & Country