Friday, April 27, 2007

Polyphonic Spree mashup - "and it makes me shine......."

Bruton mansions is currently resounding to the sounds of the Polyphonic Spree's new cd; The Fragile Army.
Well, not exactly. The cd proper isn't out till June but the ever so wonderful bunch have released an 8 minute mashup featuring snippets from the cd. It is, you wont be surprised to know, absolutely wonderful. I'm bursting, yes bursting, with expectation at the thought of the new album now.
Not too sure about the new look yet. The multicoloured robes of the second album have gone, replaced by black fatigues, and for a little while I thought this might be a reflection of a darkening in tone of the music as well. But from what I hear on the mashup, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Polyphonic Spree arrived, seemingly fully formed from the ashes of Tripping Daisy in 2000, and quickly became a real true to life phenomenon. People all over started talking about the brilliant band with the weird cult robes. Around this time I first heard Hanging Around the Day from the debut album - The Beginning Stages of the Polyphonic Spree and instantly knew this was one of those bands I was going to fall madly in love with.

And I did. The first album was a magical experience, but I missed them live, the second album moved the sound on, and while not as instantly accessible it replays repeated listening with a vastly expanded soundscape.

And I did get to see them live for the second album.
The white robes had been replaced with multi-coloured ones, and the shows were just as great as the ones I'd missed. By the second song I was on the verge on tears through the exuberance of the whole event and the night went on brilliantly from there.

We'd actually been in touch with the venue, Birmingham Academy about bringing Molly to see them as well, because by this stage she loved them as well and did a mean rendition of Light & Day at the drop of a hat, but in the end we decided against it, too late, too loud, too dark, despite the Academy assuring us that it would be okay.

So this time round, somehow, when they tour (& hopefully that will be in the holidays) we'll be there, the complete family Bruton, all getting the thrill together.

If you talk about the Polyphonic Spree to people there tend to be three reactions.
The first is huh? Because despite that initial media flurry of excitement, they'll not as hugely popular as we all thought they were going to be. (Indeed, when I saw them at the Academy the place wasn't full).

The second reaction; pretty venomous really.
They mange to annoy a lot of people. The styling doesn't help. They're a 10-30 piece band with Tim De Laughter leading them on stage and off and he has very definite ideas about what The Polyphonic Spree are and what they're here for. Sometimes, especially in the earliest press, they came across as some bizarre musical cult.
Part of this comes through in the imagery they adopt. Combine the robes with the anthemic, multi-instrument, choral backing and general organisation of the group and it becomes rather easy to scoff at the stupid little cult of the Spree, playing their happy clappy music. (which was initially Louise's reaction to them - but the brain washing worked and she quite likes them now)

And the third reaction?
It's a knowing smile and a shared moment of happiness.
If you get the Polyphonic Spree it seems you get them in style.
To me, their music just puts me in a great mood and lightens my day, no matter how crap it is. It's uplifting, it's guaranteed to get me smiling like a loon (just like I am now) and it makes everything a little brighter.
And I think that's something we could all do with.

download the mashup from here (via) or try via here for the official, but I couldn't get that to download earlier, just stream.

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