Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

The Midwest Is The Best

Based on how much I enjoyed their Enemies EP, rereleased by Polyvinyl this Spring, the debut full-length from Champaign, Illinois’ Headlights’ was very high on my anticipated releases list.

The band has taken advantage of the long player to stretch out a bit and prove they’re more than a pop-shoegaze act, not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s still atmosphere and fuzz but it’s tightly controlled and the overall mix is quite clean, with the keyboards and vocals turned way up – which is how it should be. Tristan Wraight and Erin Fein’s boy-girl vocals are delicious, with Wraight’s rougher tones complimenting Fein’s wide-eyed chirpiness perfectly.

That dichotomy also defines the trio’s songcraft pretty well, blending wistful moodiness with buoyant hookiness. But the balance definitely leans toward the peppy side of equation – if you didn’t listen to the lyrics, it’s a perfect Summer soundtrack. And even if you do, it only shifts things into maybe a late September vibe and personally, I’ve always been more of an Autumn anyway.

The band is touring like mad to promote the disc but have no Toronto dates scheduled this time out – the closest they’re coming is Buffalo on the 27th of October. Maybe next time, though it’ll have to wait till after their European tour in early 2007. Wow, good on ’em. In the meantime, check out some audio below and note that Spin has another album track available to download.

MP3: Headlights – “Put Us Back Together Right”
MP3: Headlights – “TV”
MySpace: Headlights

Aversion is streaming the whole of Eric Bachmann’s To The Races, also due out next Tuesday. He’s at the Horseshoe September 16.

And just announced – Birdmonster, Catfish Haven and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin will be at the Horseshoe on September 11. It’s like a music blog come to life! All have new releases coming out this Fall – Birdmonster’s No Midnight is out August 29, Catfish Haven’s debut full-length Tell Me is out September 12 and SSLYBY’s Broom is being reissued by Polyvinyl on October 22.

MP3: Birdmonster – “‘Cause You Can”
MP3: Catfish Haven – “Crazy For Leaving”
MP3: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “House Fire”

The Yo La Tengo Beat Your Ass Season Pass. For $13.99 from Insound, I’d call that a deal. And while you’re at it, throw your support behind their petition to make ketchup the official condiment of the USA. Via Pitchfork.

CBC declares the guitar solo passe.

np – Shearwater / Palo Santo

By : Frank Yang at 9:04 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Kevin says:

    "It’s like a music blog come to life!" Ha! Line of the Year!

  2. Billy Corgan is God says:

    Yo, today was a big day as well for
    Smashing Pumpkins fans.

  3. Kirstie says:

    I would second your enthusiasm for The Headlights. They have played Chicago quite a bit-Champaign isn’t that far away-and are great to see and listen to. I’m not thrilled with Catfish Haven at all unfortunately but Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is fun and worth it just to remember what Jarvis Cocker looked like when he was 20 because that lead singer is pretty close.