Charts & Maps
Man do I appreciate bands that actually can play their instruments. Enough with the sloppiness of punk and three-chord boring hooks and catch-phrase lyrics. If anything, pop music seems to be taking a more sophisticated turn (or at least a divergent one, with "weird" music and noise on one end and beutifully-crafted, ornate stuff on the other).
Charts & Maps, an L.A.-based quartet, falls into the latter category. Their meticulously crafted, romantic, prog-rock is just what I need right about now! The group plays a mixture of atmospheric shoegaze-y music, classic rock, and progressive rock, with no one element being too overbearing or forward. A perfect balancing of genres that's all at once exciting, unique, and heart-warming (or, depending on how you're feeling, absolutely chilling).
Three of the band's members began playing together when still in high school as Soli i Sombra, a similar, proggy outfit. Now, though, the members seem to have confidently found their sound and style and are just really good at playing enchanting melodies that flow so naturally; like the peaceful ebb and tide of the ocean. While aspects of the tracks -- in particular "10:58" -- are angst-y and abrupt, the underlying vibe is absolutely organic and sincere.