Thursday, January 17, 2008

Antarctica Takes It!


After yesterday’s excursion in the direction of the dancefloor, today we’re firmly back in the indiepop territory. And they don’t come much more indiepop that Antarctica Takes It! (the exclamation mark is part of the name, I’m not that excited). The band, led by singer Dylan McKeever hail from Santa Cruz, California and have an album called The Penguin League that’s about to be released over here by How Does it Feel to be Loved? records, though it’s been around since 2006 and available on their myspace.

When I say they don’t come much more indiepop, I mean the low-fi, DIY ethic of 1980s British indie, as heard on the likes of Rough Trade indiepop compilation. The recording was made by Dylan onto a friend's laptop, straight into the internal microphone and sounds as rough as you'd imagine from knowing that. Maybe they don’t have access to proper studios out in Santa Cruz, or maybe Dylan just wanted to capture the freshness of the moment. I like to think it’s the latter, because there’s the kind of wide-eyed naïve energy, sense of joy and excitement at making music that could have had the life and soul produced out of it if they wanted to be more professional. As long as you’re not planning to play the album loudly through a top-notch sound system it should sound fine. The accordions, glockenspiels, cellos, ukuleles, trumpets, harmonicas and pianos can all be heard clearly enough and the band's pleasingly ramshackle music is pretty hard to dislike.

So I like it just the way it is. I heartily recommend Antarctica Takes It! to non-cynics (or those willing to temporarily suspend their cynicism) everywhere. So much so that I’m posting these tracks on the strength of three that were sent to me recently. I haven’t even received a copy of the album yet, but when I do, I’ve got every confidence that it’s going to be as good as these are.

Download: Antarctica Takes It! – The Song is You
Download: Antarctica Takes It! – Antarctica

You can buy The Penguin League from the band’s myspace for a bargain $6 now, or wait until it’s released in the UK on 11 February. You can pre-order it from Rough Trade.

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