Thursday, June 23, 2011

What About Us

Song: What About Us
Artist: Handsome Furs
Album: Sound Kapital

I've been really enjoying the third album by Montreal-based electro-rock act Handsome Furs, a side project for Wolf Parade's singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexei Perry.  I never followed Wolf Parade, and actually was a bit confused when I read that name as I thought it was this band, but no... regardless, it's always a bit of a surprise when you connect with a new album only to realize that the band have several more they've done prior.  Though apparently, "Sound Kapital" is the first the duo wrote solely on keyboards and was inspired by electronic and industrial music of Eastern Europe from the 80's. (which is, as you know readers, totally my bag.)

I realize that I've begun to sound like quite a broken record when I say "here's another new indie band obviously inspired by the 80's..."  While this is undoubtably true, it also has to do with that's just the new music that's grabbing my ear lately.  Handsome Furs are an interesting hybrid as, at least given just "Sound Kapital," they mix that dark 80's heavy beat style, I am also hearing a little Bruce Springsteen and a little Arcade Fire to their sound.  I've been pretty obsessed with Lady Gaga's new album, and most recently the amazing current single "Edge of Glory," which leans heavy on The Boss, and adds those 4/4 dance beats she's so fond of.  This style is also found in the track "Hair," which also uses the late great E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemmons.  Obviously, she didn't create a new genre, but now that it seems the world has tried everything musically, the only place left to go is back... and use what may have been considered dated sounds to write brand new songs.  The key is the simplicity.  And in a way... they sound classic.

"Sound Kapital" is a wildly consistant listen, a mix of heavy synths, dark vocals, and tough beats.  I really like opener "When I Get Back," as well as the hard-driving second track "Damage."  I also really like the percolating "Memories of the Future," and the catchy "What About Us," which really exemplifies the albums dark yet pop sound.  I really like this record, give it a listen.


What About Us

Memories of the Future
When I Get Back

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