Tuesday, January 3, 2012

They're Built Like Alaska

They may be Built Like Alaska, but this Californian band are anything but cold, chilly, or related to Sarah Palin. Instead, this pastoral indie pop band take a page from the book of Grandaddy and create lackadaisical songs that seem almost too lazy to be played. Their latest album, In Troubled Times is a hazy nostalgic trip back to 90's indie pop taken on a dream and is the perfect album for this day and age.

With old things new again Built Like Alaska spread their songs across the musical landscape and create expansive songs that float along as if they didn't care. This unmotivated trip down memory lane features gurgling synths, jangly guitars, harmonicas, subdued horns, brushed drums and vocals that sound half awake. The thing is so lethargic it almost sounds as if the thing was recorded in the band's collective bed. Despite it's apparent loafing around In Troubled Times is a fantastic record that would make Mercury Rev blush.

With just enough countrified pop and a lot of sleepy songwriting, In Troubled Times keeps out of trouble and excels at being a great record. Built Like Alaska have taken pastoral pop and pulled the covers over it. This is the soundtrack to Sunday mornings and cold days, it's open fields and starry nights, it's shy and shuffly and barely able to say anything and it's got a giant heart. In Troubled Times is awesome...they don't make a lot of indie pop like this anymore and that's just a shame.

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