Music and nature. I guess they've got a lot in common. They're both powerful, beautiful and within them both there's a spectrum so broad that you can easily get lost, so for each person there's something specific so then everyone's happy.
* Phil Elvrum* knows this. A man who, for the last couple of years with the help of his friends, has been experimenting with sound, constantly evolving, making some of the most compelling sonic landscapes. All blessed with his lo-fi analogue production techniques. Whilst many bands may rely on heavy studio gimmicks, digitally manipulating sound, The Microphones have made three great records that can genuinely be called sonically organic.
This can be documented on The Microphones new record ‘Song Islands’, a compilation of their hard to find 7" singles that were released in between albums so add this to the other three, and you've pretty much got everything they've ever made without having to utter the word 'eBay'.
This however has got both good and bad points. The good points being that you can hear the progression of their sound, from the early days of distorted instruments and guitar feedback, to the more recent refined atmospheric sound both of which have Elvrum's angelic voice flowing throughout. However, as the album is a compilation, it lacks the continuity that makes all The Microphones records great. For example, this album has two of the best songs Elvrum's ever produced, 'The Moon' with its simple acoustic guitars and piano and 'Lanterns', backed with great percussion and layered up vocals, but when placed in context of the whole album they make the weaker tracks just seem like filler
'Sonic Mixbag' is a term I'm trying to avoid but I can't. If that's what you're after then this album is perfect, each song displaying The Microphones' perfect production no matter what style the music. Listening to them on headphones is an experience in itself, with noise shifting from ear to ear, building up in one and then disintegrating in the other, it helps the music feel more... alive. If you're new to The Microphones, it's probably best to start with one of the proper full lengths, probably last year's amazing 'The Glow Pt2' or its predecessor 'It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water'. If these singles provide the experimental outlet in between records like that, then they're more than welcome.
7nafees saeed's Score