Who? Bandmates Asher Lack (vocals/guitar/harmonium), Brittany Anjou (vocals/keyboard/ glockenspiel), Avery Brooks (keyboards), Abe Pollack (bass/mandolin) and Nora Kelleher (flute/vocals) crossed paths at NYU, studying music and screenwriting (Asher) at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. Homeless and unemployed after graduation with Rich the drummer combating a dislocated shoulder, Ravens and Chimes flew between the equally freezing Montreal and New York to record with Arcade Fire producer Howard Bilerman (Funeral) in six-hour blocks only. Hipster hardship has been good to the band — they’re slated for an upcoming slot at CMJ and frenzied chatter in the blogosphere has tagged them as the next next Arcade Fire.
What’s the Deal? Debut full-length Reichenbach Falls, out Oct. 9 via the Better Looking imprint, details Lower East Side love affairs and second glances on Delancey Street with a wintry pop Montreal flair. Opener “This is Where We Are” melds dramatic sprinkles of piano, tortured boy/girl harmonies and an echoing bass line that are both eerie and danceable. Pop song “St. Jude in the Village Voice” creates a Vampire Weekend-style bossanova structure with big bursts of keyboard and ’60s garage band drums. And token ballad “Eleventh St.” is as much an ode to summer love as it is to the F Train, with vocalist Asher Lack’s plaintive lyrics matched by psychedelic synthesizer wails. Best of all, you don’t have to know Brooklyn from Bushwick to get it.
Fun Fact: Keyboardist Brittany Anjou spent her senior year in Ghana studying a traditional African xylophone made of gourds and smoked wood. It now resides in her New York apartment.
Now Hear This:Ravens and Chimes – “This is Where We Are” DOWNLOAD MP3
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