This may be their sophomore full-length, but Irving are already taking a cue from (sm)art-rock veterans, filling their latest release with song titles long and literary enough to make Hemingway blush.
Tracks like “I’ll Write the Song You Sing for Me,” “The Look of Flowers That Are Looked At” and “The Gentle Preservation of Children’s Minds” off Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers are just as complex, filled with lush harmonies, summery pop, and a keyboard that was mined for every possible sound it could make. Call it lite-experimental — the band takes chances with the kazoo noises that open the title track, the anxious breathing in the background of “I Want to Love You in My Room,” and the alternately epic and jaunty keys on “She’s Not Shy,” while never getting too friendly with high-pitched keys or reverb tangents.
Irving owes its creativity to a friend who booked them their first gig. Steven Scott (guitar), Alex Church (bass), and Brian Canning (guitar) were asked to provide the live soundtrack to a friend’s art opening back in 1998. Later adding Brent Turner (drums) and Aaron Burrows (keyboards), the band officially became Irving and recorded an EP that earned them spots opening for Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and the Polyphonic Spree.
Now on its second album, the band has the clever rock thing down pat — even if lyrics like “I want to love you in my room / I want to take off all your clothes” veer a little closer to Jacqueline Susann than James Joyce.
Irving tour dates:
4/5, Dayton, OH (Elbo’s) 4/6, Philadelphia, PA (The Manhattan Room)4/7, Charlottesville, VA (MACRock Festival)*4/8, Washington, DC (Riverside Lounge)4/9, New York, NY (Mercury Lounge)4/10, New York, NY (Mercury Lounge)4/11, Wellesley, MA (LuLu Wang Center)*4/12, Montreal, QC (La Sala Rossa)*4/13, Toronto, ON (Sneaky Dee’s)*4/14, Detroit, MI (Lager House)*4/15, Chicago, IL (The Empty Bottle)*4/17, Minneapolis, MN (Triple Rock Social Club)*4/18, Des Moines, IA (Vaudeville Mews)*4/19, Lawrence, KS (The Jackpot Saloon)*4/20, Norman, OK (Opolis Productions)*4/21, Dallas, TX (Good Records In-Store)4/21, Denton, TX (Hailey’s Club)*4/22, Austin, TX (Emo’s)*4/24, Albuquerque, NM (Burts Tiki Lounge)4/25, Phoenix, AZ (Modified Arts)5/2, Seattle, WA (Crocodile)+ 5/3, Portland, OR (Towne Lounge)+5/4, Redding, CA (The Dip)+5/5, Santa Cruz, CA (The Attic)+5/6, San Francisco, CA (Rickshaw Stop)+5/7, Los Angeles, CA (Spaceland)+
(*w/Voxtrot) (+w/Essex Green)
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