After seemingly finding success in the U.S. on Capitol, Sweden’s Shout Out Louds have found a home on mega-indie Merge for their second album, Our Ill Wills. It’s a good fit; their smart pop-rock fits alongside that of labelmates Arcade Fire and Spoon. Downplaying the garage guitars featured on debut Gaff Gaff Howl Howl, the new record is drenched in majestic melodic sweeps and bouncy ornate pop. From the building lead of “Tonight I Have to Leave It” to the whirring denouement of “Hard Rain,” the album is a near-perfect mix of melancholic emotion and musical euphoria. Singer Adam Olenius wears his heart in his Robert Smith–like warble, similarly evoking a certain amount of sentimentality in simple lines like “On my way home in the car you held my hand” (“Your Parents’ Living Room”), or loss more directly with “Your love is something I cannot remember” (“Impossible”). He’s backed by a confluence of twinkling piano lines, reverbed guitar riffs, cracking beats and strings that make each song at once epic and epochal. Our Ill Wills is nothing short of brilliant, and thus the only thing one could wish for is that the band was playing somewhere other than the Basement.
MP3: Tonight I Have To Leave It
LISTEN: Full Album Stream
Nada Surf kicked off their fall tour last night in Columbus with Sea Wolf. Both bands sounded great and the place was packed (much to the chagrin of a lot of people there).
Nada Surf’s set list leaned heavily towards “Let Go,” which was fine by me — it’s one of my all time favorite albums. While “The Weight is a Gift” didn’t immediately grab me when it came out, it’s been a bit of a slow burner, slowly becoming an essential part of my music collection.
I was a little worried that the Sea Wolf crowd would leave after their set, but thankfully I was wrong. Both bands earned new fans last night, and I give an A+ to the booking agents who put this tour together. If Wilco wasn’t playing in town tonight, I probably would make my way down to Cincinnati to catch their next show together.
Here’s a bunch of photos of both bands by Kim Rottmayer
Nada Surf and Sea Wolf are doing a small tour together, stopping Monday in Columbus at the Basement. While Nada Surf is headliners (as they should be), it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the crowd after Sea Wolf’s set – their single “I’m a Wolf” is getting huge play in town, and they were part of CD101’s big summer show a few months back.
The last time Nada Surf played Columbus was for “Let Go,” election day 2004. It was one of the best and worst sets I’ve ever seen – and the band had nothing to do with it. While their music was great, it was overshadowed by the TV screen showing George Bush winning re-election.
Anyway, Nada Surf has released a song from their new album, out in February: See These Bones
Also, Sea Wolf has a new video for “Winter Windows” that can be seen over here.
Photos taken Monday, October 1 at the Basement in Columbus OH by Kim Rottmayer.