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"Funky Chimes - Belgian Grooves From The 70's - Part 1 & 2"

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"Inside The Future" & "The Rest Is Scenery"

01-11-2001

Snapshots #5 - Spokane, The Potomac Accord

Snapshots #5

Spokane, The Potomac Accord

Last year, we discovered Spokane (Drunk singer Rick Alverson's project) with their quiet and dark album "Leisure & Other Songs." This year, the band has come to wreak havoc on us with an ep and a new album. First, a 5-track ep, released a few months ago by our Spanish comrades at Acuarela, showed a warmer side of the band, who dared cover Bauhaus' "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" mixing warm instruments with an icy voice. With their new album released by the impeccable Americans at Jagjaguwar, Alverson and company keep producing sober folk music, but the main difference with "Leisure..." is Courtney Alverson's omnipresent backing vocals, which remind us of 4AD's beautiful voices gathered in This Mortal Coil. And most of all, this voice allows lighter and airier melodies. So we stumble upon affinities with the genius of Talk Talk, but also with the fragility of Piano Magic, who have just signed on 4AD. "Round Graduates," the opening track of that small masterpiece, may be the best example of that duality between gravity and delicacy, as Courtney's ethereal voice and a hauting cello come to coil themselves around Rick's deep voice and parsimonious drums. The Potomac Accord must be one of our greatest discoveries this year. First contact with the band: the cover of their album, which immediately reminds us of Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s first album (later on, we'll find their music closer to that of the side project A Silver Mt. Zion). A black & white photograph of a slightly inclined skyline, an instability that will also reveal itself to our ears. Because, even though the melodies on the album are generally rather quiet, they're far from serene. The tracks toddle on, guided by insistent piano loops, like sand castles that the band builds patiently. But TPA is willing to make them implode when the tension can no longer be contained, thanks to a voice that, as in Pedro The Lion and The Blackheart Procession, can turn into a fury, a rage that bares the guts of an impressive band.

- Translation : Eloïse Stéclebout and Eric Bensel
 
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