Talk about a band coming out of nowhere. Blind Pilot, whom nearly nobody knew about or had ever heard of just a few weeks ago, has already accomplished more than many well-established bands can even claim.
It all started when their first single, 'Go On, Say It", was selected as an Itunes free download. The hype rose, and the internet chat rooms caught fire. As of July 22nd, the song was downloaded over 2 million times. As of the same date, their debut album- 3 Rounds and a Sound catapulted up to the #13 chart on the Billboard digital downloads chart. There was no fake hype machine which preceded all of this, nor were there rabid poseurs leaking them out over the internet. This band, unlike many of its online-launched brethren, is simply doing it with pure talent, some real genuine music, and a touch of nostalgia.
February 4th was one of the happiest days of my life- but only because I had not yet heard the news of one of my favorite bands, The Format, calling it quits. Instead, that day, I was parading around like every other Giants fan, celebrating the improbable events of the night before in the Super Bowl. When I finally came to from my euphoric state later that week and found out what had happened, I was truly crushed. How did I want to replace them? Should I bother replacing them? Obviously these thoughts were running through the minds of many a musician, since by April, you could hear the rumblings of artists inspired by the Jangle Pop-extraordinaires rising to the surface. I was skeptical, but gave some a try. All Get Out stood out to me, but it was more because of their sounding like Manchester Orchestra and The Format's lovechild. I stopped searching, and just continued listening to the band I had come to know and love.
Fastfoward to this week. While sitting on my computer (what else is new), a friend (fellow Animal Noises writer Heath) told me about Blind Pilot, and directed me to where I could find their album. I was expecting something entertaining that I would get a couple of listens out of. Instead, I found the artist which would fill the void left by The Format (I promise, this is my last reference to them). From the first track- "The Story I Heard"- Blind Pilot grabs you. It's poppy and active, but not too much so. Just enough to keep you interested. Then, something odd starts happening. The music begins to invoke memories.
I usually associate memories with music, as do many others, I would assume. The only thing is, that music usually has to have been apart of my life when the memory happened. Since Blind Pilot was not apart of my life, nor anyone else's until about 3 weeks ago, the fact that the music can have such an affect is astounding. It's lively yet quiet, active yet passive, and timid and bold at the same time. As the album has taken me on a trip back through my memories, I can calmly listen, or sing along. It reminds me of what was, and what is. And what is, for this band, is success.
Now, believe me, I won't turn this into a lovefest and then, to top it all off, declare it one of the best albums ever. Far from it. But, that being said, I'm still getting acquainted with it, so maybe in time, it can join OK Computer, Deja Entendu, Dog Problems, In the Aeorplane Over the Sea, and The Lonesome Crowded West in that space. For now, it occupies an endearing place in my mind, invoking the images and sounds of what was, and also did a very good job of subsituting for Anything Else But the Truth by The Honorary Title last night, if I do say so myself.
My suggestion: Check out this album. Maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I have, maybe you won't. It's not hard music to listen to. On the contrary, it's fairly simple. They seem to be one of the few that no how to do that anymore; simple.
Grade: 8/10; As I've said, I'm a tough grader, and don't hand out 9s very easily. Maybe with time, this one will enter that realm. We'll see.
Buzz:This blog has had very little exposure to the fact that Matt and I are huge fans of Brand New. This is mostly due to the fact that they aren't ones to let out material very often. Luckily for everyone though, a video has surfaced on Youtube for their new song, apparently dubbed "Brickhouse" by some members of the internet community, and "Trees" by others. Either way, take a listen. I'm pretty sure you'll like what you hear, especially if you like hearing chaos.