Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Damn You, Pitchfork!

I read a review on Pitchfork today for the Boston-based band Hallelujah the Hills, who released their most recent EP as a free download. For Pitchfork, the 7.0 rating they gave it is relatively low - but it's free music and the review made it sound like electronic nerd-pop a-la Of Montreal meets '80s-period They Might Be Giants at the local independent bookstore by focusing almost exclusively on the lyrics and the singing.

Fortunately, it's not much like that. Consider if the Arcade Fire wrote a more literate version of Funeral during their alt-country phase (see the widely-circulated 2001 demos - link does not go to a download, as many of the download links available online are dead. If you're interested, I can upload all ten demoes). Consider the psychedelic horns and wild lo-fi distortion of Neutral Milk Hotel. Consider all this distilled into seven very short baroque pop tunes that could have just as well been imported from Kevin Drew's Canada. Then it might be a bit clearer.

The songwriting's in top form and the inclusion of a live track (from a performance at the Middle East) at the end does not feel like filler. It's what free music should be - a sample of a great band (even though Pitchfork reviewed this, it was the bottommost review for today) yet to be discovered.

Download from the band's site HERE. They even give you audiophile snobs the choice between lossy and lossless. How nice is that?

3 comments:

D said...

write more!

kat said...

I concur!
Also, how's life treating you?

-Kat

Aaron Leclair said...

Hi Katherine.

I'm currently with CMU's radio station working with the vast quantity of music we get every week, deciding what's good, and reviewing it. So one would think there's a ton of experiences to write about. But I'm also rethinking the idea of music entirely, particularly what is "good" and what is "not good".

Other than that... no idea.

-Aaron