04.23.13 — “Thrush and Thrasher” by Atrina


If you only listen to one song today, make it “Thrush and Thrasher” by Atrina (2013, from the album In Planetary Sugar).

Today’s song du jour should be a delight for zoologists. The band name comes from the name of a genus of bi-valve molluscs. The song title is two types of songbirds.

Atrina is an avant-garde rock band from New Haven, Connecticut. They’ve been around since 1996, but I had never heard of them before I got something about them in the mailbag this morning. They self-released their debut album in 1997. They put out an EP in 2003, and another in 2008. Their long-awaited sophomore album In Planetary Sugar is out now in digital form and will be released in physical format by the Connecticut-centric Obscure Me Records on June 19.

It’s hard to describe Atrina and it’s as hard to reckon exactly who their influences are. Some of the songs on the album sound sort of like stoner-rock. Some sound like post-rock. Some sound mathy. Some tread the line between dream-pop and shoegaze. A lot of reviews throw around reference points like PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, and Deerhoof. Others throw around descriptors like “turbulent”, “angular”, “scrappy”. After listening to the album a couple of times, I think it’s safe to use a word like “heavy”.

In today’s song, I can understand the references to Sonic Youth and Polly Jean Harvey, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the song reminds me of either of those. I’m reminded, actually, of Th’ Faith Healers. Not in a very specific way, though.

“Thrush and Thrasher” by Atrina

In the first seconds of the song, you can hear a bird call. I’m not an ornithologist, so I can’t say even if that’s one or the other of Thrush or Thrasher.

If this band had a dude singing for them, I’m not sure that I would like them very much. If they were instrumental, it would still be a hard sell. The sound is a bit heavier, more low-end heavy, and more jagged than I usually go for, but the vocals of frontwoman Kelly L’Heureux make it more appealing by rounding off some of those sharp angles. It’s a good balance of light and heavy, soft and hard.

You can buy a digital download of In Planetary Sugar from the band’s Bandcamp page. You can name your own price with a minimum of $5 USD. CDs are also available for sale now ($8 USD). The LP ($10 USD) will ship on June 19.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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