And now for something a little different. Don’t expect tracks from Eleven & the Falcons debut CD, The Death Vine (available for free download here) to make their way onto the next Ford comerical or Michael Cerra film soundtrack. Which is not to say that these songs aren’t good — they’re wildly creative, experimental and probably way ahead of their time. But they’re not dance-y. They’re not songs to make out to, or drive to, or cry to. They’re really songs meant to be listened to. I know, crazy, right?
From the opening track, “Ghost’n m’Throat,” Vine establishes itself as something wholly unclassifiable. The song is a mash up of Ali Maladi’s soaring a capella paired with either Christian Church or Mayor Prankster reciting verse.
“Our Love Was A Crime” is a droning, slow-burning, slow-core work of echoey voice, techy sound effects and simple hand drumming, “Wish I Were a Narwhal” is even slower, Maladi’s sweet voice purposefully dissonant. Listen to the track through headphones and the voices sweep from left ear to write. Background noises are less instrumental, more industrial: Machinery, engines, pots and pans, perhaps, or the distant clatter of metal trash cans. “Best Of The Canopies” changes pace with a bubblier sound — a xylophone played with chopsticks, gentle singing and vocal embellishments burble and drip across the soundscape.
This is a band obsessed with found sounds, with music culled from unexpected sources, with songs stitched from odd textures and remnants of dreams. Yet, while experimental music has often been embraced only by a select group of listeners, Vine really isn’t difficult listening. No, it’s not easy, but it builds on pop-informed canvases and expands into spacey atmospheres and dark corners, compelling more than challenging. The album is consistent both in its unique approach and in its surprisingly pleasant aesthetic.
Eleven & the Falcons plays at Firestorm Cafe on Friday, July 2, 8 p.m. Free. Listen to “Blue Patterns” below.