A few weeks ago, Sleeping in the Aviary released their fourth album You and Me, Ghost on Science of Sound Records. It's a great listen, and I am excited that they will be playing a show in Brooklyn tomorrow night, September 29th. The show is at Bruar Falls (245 Grand Street in Williamsburg) and also includes The Genuine Imitations, Puppies, and Fishdoctor. It starts at 8PM, has a $5 cover, and is 21+.
I'm really digging You and Me, Ghost. It's the kind of album that you can put on, and before you know it, you've listened to it five times in a row. Most of that is due to the musical style, as Sleeping in the Aviary channeled the spirit of pop music of the 1950s and 1960s, with lots of catchy, tightly arranged songs that clock in at 3 minutes or less. Some are pure, upbeat rock and roll and others have that big-band, slow dance feel. There's elements of surf, doo-wop, and more. The band was also inspired by the recording process of the era, when musicians would crank out dozens of tunes in a matter of days, or hours even. The urgency that comes from adopting this approach helps give the songs more of that "live" sound – and in turn, why the show tomorrow should be a lot of fun.
And fittingly, for an album rooted in classic pop / early rock style, the songs are about perhaps the most quinessentially pop subject: girls. I like that, taken together, this album covers quite a range of feelings and situations within this context. Granted, most of these are from relationships gone wrong or love from afar, but they do take on a variety of perspectives. The great opener "Talking Out of Turn," is a detailed look at someone who captures the narrator's eye and seems to meet his very specific needs, but she's got someone else. Of a similar subject is "On the Way Home," but in this case, instead of being more of a bittersweet yearning, the narrator takes on a more self-deprecating, wreckless attitude towards the rejection. Both ring true. The music is well-matched to each story. And it's not all love lost, as "Karen, You're An Angel" depicts a couple in the early and late stages of a relationship, with the narrator equally devoted at each phase.
It is easy to be caught up in all the musical hooks, but it is really worth taking a close listen to the words, as this band has written some clever and insightful songs. Just about all of them have really well-observed details and there's a lot of humor throughout. Some highlights for me include "Love Police," a burner that explores from the perspective of "love as a crime" to very interesting effect. "Are You Afraid of Being Poor?" is a slow beauty that addresses some of the burdens that money brings to two people trying to make something last together. And the amusing and relatable details of "Infatuation" make for a compelling look at a complicated feeling everyone can't help to experience many times in their lives.
So if you can't make the show, at least do yourself a favor and get this album. It's available here and here. For those not in the NYC-area, check and see if Sleeping in the Aviary is coming to a town near you here. I hope those of you in city will come to tomorrow's show, it'll be a good one!