The first thing that struck me about Columbus'd the Whim
was its immediate familiarity. Even though these tracks are far from traditional pop tunes, the initial sound is one of deceiving accessibility. Its as though you can hear faint echoes of so many different bands, from past and present, but just as the names come floating in, the thread dissolves into a cloud of lo-fi reverb. In other words, these guys have a truly unique sound without dangling on the fringe of experimental, automatically likable, but not catchy.
Holiday Shores hail from Florida, where, along with bands like Surfer Blood and The Drums , there appears to be a lot going on. Who knew behind all those Alvin's Islands, tankinis, and retirement communities there was a burgeoning indie music scene? These guys, though in no way a surf band, definitely throw a few nods to life from a seaside community. Sunny, Beach Boys-esque, chord progressions and laid back, breezy rhythms point geographically to the ocean, not to mention their style of reverb has a watery sheen about it. Lead singer, Nathan Pemberton's vocals are tranquil and cool, at times pleasantly off-key, which only compliments the band's tendency to, well, musically slouch, bending chords, warping piano, and obscuring the melodies beneath chalky sound.
A few of the more up-tempo tracks like "Reruns" , "Days Drag", and the first single off the album, Phones Don't Feud, are almost downright dancey and sound like they would be fun live. While the more preoccupied songs like "Dens" and "I'll Spend Money I Don't Have", feel a bit more forward facing and layered. Columbus'd the Whim
is the band's first full-length, although they did release an EP last year under their now defunct name, Continental Divide. Any way you cut it, this is a great album, remembering that this is a debut makes it all the more impressive. - amelia trask
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MP3: Holiday Shores:: Phones Don't Feud - Columbus'd the Whim
Holiday Shores on Myspace