Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Buck McGrane - Grazie Mille

"Buck McGrane plays sad songs that make you feel good." - Dan from Pools are Nice. That's all it says on the bio part of Buck McGrane's Bandcamp. I don't know if I agree that the songs are sad but they CERTAINLY make you feel good.

Buck McGrane's LP "Grazie Mille" (a thousand thanks) starts with a fleeting instrumental before dissolving into samples. "Waiting On The Line" could definitely be seen as a sad song, somber leads and vocals float on clouds of soft reverb in this moody little tune.

"Mind Blooming" was the one that caught my ears. José Oyola posted it on his FB page and I was instantly attracted to it. Despite what is clearly electronic drums posing as real ones, the whole of this song, (mix, composition, tone) is wonderful on every level. Gorgeous guitar, tastefully reserved vocals and a jangly refrain make this a great introduction to this guys work on this album. A clear single.

"All Those Roads And Dead Ends" has a fantastic lead melody and like many of these songs, sounds too wide and saturated to have been recorded in a 10X10 room with one mic, as the notes on the bandcamp suggest. This song has an awesome chorus, and Buck could have easily taken this down a super cheesy path but instead takes the tastefully reserved route, which I applaud with these songs. The music is very gaudy (in a good way) and matching that with equally gaudy vocals (which is often the case with music like this) would have done it a great disservice.

I think Buck McGrane is onto something here...

"Windows Cleaner" is a charming acoustic tune with precision playing and very few vocals. I think it's a beautiful little "change of pace" track that builds and swells and then finally concludes.

My favorite song on this whole LP is "Irony". I can't get this song out of my head. The hook here is remarkable. This may be one of my favorite songs of the year so far. It has a perfect combination of poppy and, well, I guess it could be seen as sad. The minor to 7th chord bending progression sounds more ethereal and odd than sad. This is another swelling and building song, as it twists and turns it takes on sounds like Broken Social Scene and even some early Bedhead.

Complex closer "Always" has a little of everything. Folk, indie rock, noise and some story telling wrap up this debut LP.

You can name your price for this fantastic debut from a new CT artist, one who shares the same enthusiasm for our fine state (from the bandcamp release notes: "Dedicated to the lovely state of Connecticut")


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