Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Music Tapes-The Dark is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)

Recently I got caught up and finally saw Midnight in Paris. A superb film, it managed to show the glory and greatness of the past while at the same time understanding that one has to work in the present to create anything worth while. If there is any band that truly understands this concept, it is The Music Tapes.

From their ascetic of pop-up art albums to their sound made through 1930s recording devices, The Music Tapes are able to craft songs that are all their own, but at the same time infused with a nostalgic timelessness as well. Nowhere is this more true than on "The Dark is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)", the opening cut to their soon to be released third album Mary's Voice. A half cover of a semi obscure '30s song ( made famous by Louis Armstrong though), Julian Koster and co. manage to recreate it as something they had plucked from their own imagination. Beautiful European style horns set the stage before melding with singing saws and violin sounding banjos. Then Koster's vocals come in, soft at first, before turning into one of the most powerful displays of his vocals ever. It's this that shapes the song, guiding it along with Robbie Cucchiaro's lovely horns, which form a beautiful coda to the end of the song. Nostalgia might have a place in music, but as usual The Music Tapes have managed to morph the concept into something wholly more. "The Dark is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)" is now destined to be to a lost treasure, to be rediscovered decades from now and have its timeless magic impress itself on someone else.


The Music Tapes' Website
Pre-order Mary's Voice here, from Merge Records

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