Maps & Atlases – Perch Patchwork

Maps and Atlases have made sweeping changes to their sound since they began so valiantly with Trees, Swallows, Houses way back when. The one thing that remains from their humble beginings are Dave Davidsons effervescent vocal stylings. Weaving in and out blaring signals like a high pitched squeal in an appealing sense if you can imagine it being so. Truth be told, the centre point for this band are the vocals and they grab your attention as they are unconventional, at first confronting but then they slowly seep into your psyche like all good pop music does.

This album, their first full length release is due out June 29th, it has leaked. I will tell you flat out that this album here is the perfect example of brilliant advertisement. I downloaded the leak, listened to it a couple of times, digested, and immediately knew I had to get this on vinyl. The album plays like a true flowing record, opening with two ‘intro’ tracks with the latter The Charm elegantly delivering the precursive narrative that will follow throughout the record. Davidson proclaims “There is nothing that I hate more…than the sound of your voice…when you say that you don’t love me” cleverly building percussion and acoustics swirl around his playful voice as you experience just one of the many pop oriented hooks throughout the album that will have you humming every second of the way.

The openers are again followed strongly by Living Decorations which carries a boisterous charm along with it, chased by Solid Ground being set up with playful musicality and somewhat mismatched lyricism about a boyfriend sleeping outside his girlfriend’s house. Another compartment to this dense record are the interludes, beginning with Is and accompanying that track Was at the end make for illustrious examples of perfect melody and restraint.

Israeli Caves presents for a catchy outing, and the expressionism in Davidsons voice is prominent. The incorporation of saxaphone on tracks like Pigeon and strings on the brilliant album closer Perch Patchwork give the record an all encompassing feel of depth, breadth and stellar form. This will be a contendor for album of the year for me. Fo Real.

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