The Shins are Bigger than Jesus—Yup, it's official. As of this writing, The Shins' brand-new album, Wincing The Night Away, is the second highest selling album on Amazon.com, beating out The Beatles' Love (No. 8) and Madonna's Confessions Tour DVD and CD set (No. 6), for the love of all that's holy. So technically, they're bigger than the-band-that's-bigger-than-Jesus and Madonna. That's an astounding number of CD players to occupy. And with big-name recognition for what once was a small-town (that would be Albuquerque) band, comes the need for a Shins FAQ. Take note, members of the foreign press.
Although Chris Adolf resides in the Mile-High City, the singer, songwriter and only permanent member of neofolk project Bad Weather California prefers a small town scene. The yen for a cozier location is evident in his intimate, gruff but earnest style that’s somewhere between a warm embrace and a cold stare. Like many independent musicians, Adolf is not all that comfortable in the digital age. Whenever he thinks a song sounds too crisp or clean, he makes sure to “mush it up.” Adolf and his ever-rotating cast of backing musicians are genuinely interested in making music for the masses, but they also want to make sure their souls stay intact in the process.
It came out this summer, but The Coma Recovery’s Drown That Holy End In Wine is actually the perfect album for Valentine’s Day. “Capulet” (track No. 8) even works as both the backdrop for a satisfying makeout sesh and the anthem of your next breakup. Get it at www.failedexperimentrecords.com.
Like a hot bath with all the suds at the end of a hellish week or a bad breakup, the debut release from the nouveau pop trio The Postmarks is a soothing (if a bit melancholic) album. This collection of songs has a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel attitude in both the lyrics (delivered via soft coos by vocalist Tim Yehezkely) and the elegant melodies. There are elements of Burt Bacharach and The Smiths, and, although the instrumentation is complex, the record never comes close to sounding overproduced.