I've these absolutely misguided, idiotic biases against certain styles of music, certain locations, certain vocals styles. I try to justify them with some lame excuse about how I listen to a lot of music, and therefore need some sort of filtering system.
Yeah, it's stupid.
Traditionally, I don't really like music from "the South." But then bands like the Flaming Lips and White Denim and Spoon and all those come along and I'm just left feeling doubly idiotic for thinking music from down there can't be all that great.
So I apologize. I'll try my best to stop.
Because listen to how great Harlan (MySpace) is! The Baton Rouge quartet is friggin' spectacular ... an amazing blend of this sort of psychedelic pop music and experimental-twinged folksier stuff. And the group's all about the details ... whether it's a quirky synth line or warble-y guitar hook or concise, organic drumming, Harlan's complete sound is awe-inspiring.
At times the band sounds like the Flaming Lips, at others, there's a bit of Grandaddy there, but throughout, the album, The Still Beat, is just plain unique and original ... a genuine and heartfelt work that, in the end, is comparable only to ... itself!
Another aspect to the band I like is their conceptual nature: lyrically, these guys are deep, even though I'm still struggling to figure out the meaning of all the songs (and titles for that matter! From "Foam Core" to "The Ill-Matched Unknowns," these guys are hard to read!)
Check out the music video for "Computer Games Under the Sun" here, and be further confused, but still impressed. I can't quite place these four, I can't quite figure them out, I can't quite understand where they're coming from or what they're about, but maybe that's why Harlan's so compelling and fun.