Maps & Atlases - Perch Patchwork - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Maps & Atlases - Perch Patchwork

by James Briscoe Rating:9 Release Date:2010-10-04

Maps & Atlases are one of only a handful of truly memorable bands I have listened to in 2010. Their qualities are based on simple talents, mainly Dave Davison's voice along with Erin Elders on guitar, Chris Hainey on drums and Shiraz Dada (what an awesome name) on drums. They only formed six years ago when they met in art school (that's unusual) at Columbia College, Chicago. However, their sound is very mature, like they have been recording together for decades.

Before the release of this, their debut full-length album, they released a single from the album, called 'Solid Ground', which I reviewed also. Solid Ground creates a beautiful and harmonic musical landscape. Dave Davison's voice, along with some exciting guitar work, played by Erin Elders, and some distinctive piano chords make the song a milieu of rich tones. You could listen to the track wherever and whenever.

'The tide has turned across the pond again.'

'Israeli Caves', sixth on the album, continues with the harmonies of 'Solid Ground'. However, it sounds more like you would expect from an American East Coast band. It has that folk style which is popular in East Coast cities at the moment. American cities like New York and Chicago, seem to be the main areas where interesting, intelligent music is coming from. A few years ago, it was London which created bands like The Libertines and Klaxons but now the tide has turned across the pond again.

If I were to say they sounded like any other band, it would probably be Vampire Weekend, however. With their song, 'Will', they continue to show they have something different to offer. In 'Will', which is fairly short at only 2.16 minutes, Maps & Atlases get creative with unusual sounds from voices and instruments.

It is difficult to be original in music these days with bands attempting to recreate or even improve upon the great music of past decades but I feel that Maps & Atlases are one of a group of bands making music at the moment (mainly from North America) who are at least trying to make something new and great which might be remembered as great music in 20 or 30 years' time. I am not saying it will be, but if bands like Maps & Atlases continue to be creative and consider unusual ideas, it might just happen.

'Perch Patchwork' could be described as 'easy-listening'; you could listen to it all day as it basically sounds great and it is not too intense. Nevertheless, it also has that quirky aspect that I have previously mentioned which will keep you interested. If you are already a fan, I would certainly suggest getting hold of the album. If not, at least give some of the songs a listen and definitely keep an ear out for their future releases. Maps & Atlases could be big.

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