Spokes

Everyone I Ever Met

Written by: TL on 09/05/2011 20:09:01

A few weeks ago, on a rather casual night out, my friends and I had decided to check out the recently opened Copenhagen venue KB 18, and as we arrived, we learned that a band was actually playing that evening. Them seeming like an indie/folk-ish type of outfit, my mostly heavy-interested entourage paid them no heed, but seeing as they were there and sounded pretty good, my girlfriend and I curiously approached the stage to check them out. And we were glad that we did, because not only did the band, Spokes, sound very nice, they also delivered a spirited performance that was as enjoyable to watch as it was to hear, even for someone who had randomly walked in from the streets. Keen to get to know the band better then, it seemed like a good idea to pick up their debut LP "Everyone I Ever Met" from the merch table, and here I am, ready to report to you good people what I've learned from that very record.

To understand what this relatively new band sounds like, try to imagine the folksy indie/alternative of bands like Caravela and Arcade Fire, leaning in a somewhat more post-rock/experimental direction that brings to mind Broken Social Scene or Efterklang (bands that I admittedly namedrop being only superficially familiar with them). Imagine songs that start out subtle, warm and forthcoming, only to build up layers of melodies, using both guitars and violin, until the result is sweeping climaxes, that feel like the sonic equivalents to standing in a flurry of autumn leaves being whirled up by the wind. Hardly a timely metaphor, I know, but nevertheless one you're likely to find fitting after listening to Spokes.

That at least is the impression I get from the tracks I prefer on "Everyone I Ever Met". The chief examples of these are "We Can Make It Out" and "Torn Up In Praise", although other tracks like "Peace Racket" and "Forever A Bridge" also sound great when they start to take off. However, Spokes have also opted to keep things varied, by including an almost entirely instrumental title track, as well as quite a few numbers that restrain the post-rock build-ups and focus on more thoroughly subtle moods. Honestly, these do feel less engaging to me personally, as I admittedly enjoy Spokes the most, when guitars, violins and three-part vocal harmonies make the songs the most exhilarating, but a song like "Sun It Never Comes" still manages to be among the album's most memorable, even while being by far the most minimalistic offering.

Overall, I've been a bit back and forth in my mind as to how I would grade "Everyone I Ever Met". The record is certainly exceptionally well composed and produced, and provides a listener with a soundscape that is both textured and versatile. It's main drawback is no different from what usually hinders post-rock bands, namely that it can seem un-engaging and hard to get into on quite a few consecutive listens. When you start getting to know it however, it also opens up in a manner typical for that genre, namely by starting to hint that here is an experience that will grow for each consecutive listen. All this considered, I'd say what Spokes have produced is a debut both intriguing and promising, and since I can already say that they also perform quite well live, they definitely seem to be a band worth keeping an eye on.

Download: We Can Make It Out, Sun It Never Comes, Torn Up In Praise
For The Fans Of: Caravela, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Efterklang, Jonsi
Listen: myspace.com/spokessound

Release Date 31.01.2011
Ninja Tune

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