(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Friday, October 14, 2011

CD review - And the Giraffe, Something for Someone (2011)

Exploring a full palette of dreamy folk

College towns like Gainesville, Florida often foster great music scenes. Some hit it big like Tom Petty, Don Felder, Against Me!, and Less Than Jake, which all have roots in Gainesville. On the other side, I remember all the local bands I loved there during my college daze. When I found out that And the Giraffe came out of G'ville, I was psyched to hear what was coming out of today's local scene.

Something For Someone offers a moody mix of dream folk. The EP's six tracks maintain the kind of shimmery reverb haze that defines the genre, but And the Giraffe manage to evoke a wide range of feelings. This is rooted in subtleties of timing: a touch of rhythmic drag can shift the sense from expectation to fatalism.

And the Giraffe's sound is reminiscent of Gomez's more drifty tracks, largely because the vocals capture a piece of Ben Ottewell's tone. The first track, Underground Love hits this best of all. It's simple and floaty, with the guitar taking on a saturated tone against the swaying bass and stripped down drums. The raspy, velvet vocals capture a kind of weariness, but there's an undercurrent of satisfaction. The whispery background vocals give the whole tune the sense of an interior monologue.

This contrasts with the late summer night sound of 1055. Here the echoed guitar works against a steadier keyboard to create a sense of surrender: "And my God, I almost fell in love." Later on Magic 8, the feeling is anticipatory, waiting for some promised treat. The loping rhythm is light, but creates a dreamscape, with the sense of running down a hill to a wonderful future of possibility.

Although Something for Someone is short, I love that And the Giraffe have stretched out the boundaries of expression available within the dream folk sub-genre. The music is beautifully recorded and mixed, perfect for headphones. It would be great to hear what the band could do with a full length album.

Drop by Bandcamp to hear Something for Someone.

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