You’re The Reason Why I’m Afraid To Die
I’m Sorry But I’m Beginning To Hate Your Face
You Can’t Call Yourself A Secret
I Don’t Know If People Have Hated Me, But I Have Hated People
Ignorance Or Transcendence
The Year Of How To Book
The Boy With A Serpent In His Heart
20,000 Light Years
We Moke Like Turtles Might
I Don’t Believe In Wars, But I Do Believe In Uniforms
The Coming Of The Plague
Thanks To All Who Do Not_Me
VÖ 26.03.10 CD/LP PIAS im Vertrieb von Rough Trade
THE YEAR OF HOW TO BOOK
Without wishing to tempt fate, Eagle Seagull have gracefully swooped into the category of buzz bands, ones to watch, emerging new talent, call it what you will. Fortunately, the hype is backed up by a more than promising eponymous debut album (in 2006) and a rip-roaring sequel, due for imminent release, emboldened by several years of solid touring, which is never, ever a bad thing in helping to define a band’s DNA. Particularly when their sparring partners on the circuit included such different combos as The B-52s, Gnarls Barkley and Tokyo Police Club. A learning curve as exhilarating as a ski slope.
2010 sees the release of what is traditionally the difficult sophomore album, but, lo and behold, “The Year of the How-To Book” is awash with jangling melody and serene strings without sacrificing any of the energy of its predecessor.
In a world that has become so referential (it sounds like A plus B in a blender with a pinch of acid) and the long tail leading us ever downward to venn diagrams of the like-minded (if you bought that, you’ll probably fork out for this), it becomes harder than ever to happen upon a sound that comes out of nowhere. So where are Eagle Seagull coming from?
The Amazonians claim that if you like Spoon (never heard them) or Bowie (heard everything until Tin Machine) you’ll like this. Names like The Cure and Pulp keep popping up, and not without reason, hinting at Anglophile tendencies within the ranks. “I’m Sorry But I’m Beginning To Hate Your Face” is a jaunty reminder of Robert Smith on a good day, “The Boy With A Serpent In His Heart” evokes the steely Sheffield beginnings of Pulp when Jarvis sounded panicked rather than a pop parodist.
Eagle Seagull are signed to the time-honoured PIAS label, founded in Brussels, and indeed seem to feel closer to the common people of Europe rather than the musical cousins of their homelands, where the anguished grandeur of Arcade Fire might be considered a relative, or, slightly longer ago, when Grandaddy managed to hang like quintessential indie loners whilst unleashing symphonic magnificence (Summer’s Here Kids) on initially unsuspecting audiences.
Grandaddy hailed from the farmlands around Modesto, California, whilst Eagle Seagull are children of the agrarian plains of Nebraska, a landlocked state which is just about as far from the seagulls as you can get.
Is this a geographical clue to Eagle Seagull’s desire to soar above their territory, where borders become indistinct? Nebraska, birthplace of Kool-Aid, a technicolour anomaly on an otherwise monochrome landscape, a region of dwindling rural communities at the centre of the Frontier Strip (which marked the western end of the United States in the 19th century).
Bright Eyes and Saddle Creek, to be fair, have pinned a small flag to the Nebraskan map, yet Eagle Seagull, ladies and gentlemen, are floating in space, a vacuum (as a face becomes in one song) into which their fans can pour their adulation. They are already on a level which appears to inspire their followers to poetic declarations of love. Hence they need not worry that the wealth of critics’ accolades collected thus far will turn out to be the proverbial kiss of death.
Death, as we know, is not the end, but it is never far away. The bloggers have Eagle Seagull down as morose joy or melodious ritalin, an altered state of near Gothic sensibilities. There is something of Beckett’s “death has not required us to keep a day free” in the hardened fact of mortality in “You’re the reason why”, the dust to dust ad infinitum of “all we've known, and all of the rest...must someday creep silently to death...and never say goodbye.” Love comes at a price, holding a mirror to the certainty of never being to say what you want to say to the person you most wish to hear it.
Perhaps the answer lies in the How-to Book, if we know where to look, but maybe there is nothing beyond the “hollow space into which my words disappear without trace”. Who has not experienced the crushing defeat of, for whatever reason, a one-way conversation, a message undelivered, a sentiment unrequited? Hence the sense of urgency which infuses the opus of Eagle Seagull. Nevertheless, and this is the joyous part, many of the songs are resolutely upbeat, sprinkled with the magic glitter of pop. And even if they sound very much like a band destined for distant shores, there is a local connection in the mix, with A.J. Mogis, brother of Bright Eyes producer Mike Mogis on hand as engineer. Ryan Hadlock (The Gossip, Blonde Redhead, Stephen Malkmus) took care of production over there at Bear Creek, near Seattle.
Eagle Seagull kommen im Februar für Interviews nach Deutschland.
Tourdaten im April sind in Vorbereitung.
www.eagleseagull.com – www.piasgermany.de – www.pias.com
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