There is a level of cheekiness and experimentation found on each track of The Zookeepers new album Good Looking Out. There is a lot of sound piled into this record but the New England quartet holds off on mashing everything together and making it real loud like a lot of bands do these days. Instead, they nibble at synth pop, silly punkishness and really simple piano driven indie sounds. Gula Gula comes off all chill but they play around with it just enough to tease your ear. Lady Gaga is an ADD romp through sampling and hooks that plays a bit like a nervous breakdown, but in a good way. How do they pull all of this off without coming off as aimless goofs? They know music. They are comfortable enough to play around and adventure without getting lost. There is room to tighten up their sonic mission but as a way to get themselves out there Good Looking Out gives you a good sense of their skills. Lady Gaga
It is with great embarrassment and even greater pleasure that I am just now posting anything on Pearl & The Beard. They've been making their way into my playlists for a while now and are just about to release God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson so I simply must bring you into the loop. The group has truly grown into a lush and nuanced indie folk group and this album shows the refinement and craftsmanship that has become the hallmark of a Family Records production. P&TB incorporates some traditional folk components like accordion, accapella chorus and simple string accompaniments with excellent results. When wrapped in their strong lyrical delivery each song achieves soul warming status even in the sadder songs. Pearl & The Beard has already come quite a way as artists and if God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson is any indicator the group's evolution holds a lot of promise. Oh, Death!
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