Tag Archives: Belgium

May 15, 2016 — “Snowstorm” as covered by Third Sky

Blue Thunder: A Tribute to Galaxie 500

If you only listen to one cover song tonight, make it “Snowstorm”, as covered by Third Sky (2016, from the compilation album Blue Thunder: A Tribute to Galaxie 500).

Third Sky is a dreamwave band from Brussels. I know absolutely nothing about them. I don’t know if it’s one dude or a full band. I don’t know how long they’ve been around. I only know that they’ve put out a few EPs and that they’re on the latest compilation tribute album released by the Brazilian blog and label The Blog that Celebrates Itself. I’ve featured stuff here before from the long list of fantastic tribute compilations that they’ve curated. Last week, they released the newest one, which is a tribute to the legendary dream pop/indie rock trio Galaxie 500. The compilation features songs from each of the band’s three albums. As always, the compilation features a couple of bands that I already know and like, but mostly some bands that I’ve never heard of. And like always, most of the ones from the “I’ve never heard of them” list have little or no footprint on the internet.

Some of the interpretations are very good, and most of my favorite Galaxie 500 songs were covered. Unfortunately for me, though, my favorite Galaxie 500 song didn’t make the cut. Nobody covered “Listen, The Snow is Falling”. Or at least if they did, it didn’t make the final edit.

Galaxie 500 only released three proper albums. The original version of tonight’s cover came from the middle album On Fire (1989), which many people consider to be their best. I love all three albums, but if I had to pick a favorite, I would choose the final record This is Our Music (1990). I could go on for ages about this, but I’ll just go ahead and get to the business of tonight’s song:

“Snowstorm”, as covered by Third Sky

This sounds quite different to the original. This is significantly brighter and more upbeat than the original. Every instrument sounds nothing at all like what’s going on in the original. Although it’s fundamentally the same, it’s a pretty wild interpretation. I like it, but I still like the original much more. I won’t judge the guitar or the bass in their unique approach to this song, but I will judge the drumming. I think that programmed or synthetic drums are good for a lot of things, but in this case, I really don’t like the drums. In the original, Damon’s drums are dark, menacing, and at times, heavy. You get a sense of the approaching snowstorm and the havoc that it’s going to wreak. I mean, it’s gonna knock the TV out, for cryin’ out loud! You just don’t get that feeling at all from the drums in this cover. But like I said, the whole thing has a much brighter tone.

My picking on the drums aside, I do like this cover despite its completely different mood to the original. I like most of the covers on this collection. I’m just sad that there wasn’t a cover of “Listen, The Snow is Falling”. I can’t say that enough times.

You can download the compilation via the TBTCI Bandcamp page here. As always, they’re offering it on the “name your price” plan. Seriously, though, visit the store for the other compilations. They’re all great.


08.26.2014 — “Scarecrow” by TWENTYFOURLIVES

TWENTYFOURLIVES

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Scarecrow” by TWENTYFOURLIVES (2014, from the forthcoming album Peaks… Peaks… Peaks!).

TWENTYFOURLIVES is a post-rock quartet from the small Belgian town La Luvière. The band got started in 2009, and they have two EPs to their credit. They’re set to release their debut album Peaks… Peaks… Peaks! on September 15.

Although today’s song has vocals, most of the TWENTYFOURLIVES songs do not.

I really don’t know anything about this band, but today I got something in the mail bag inviting me to listen to a private stream of the forthcoming album. The email gave no details at all. I had no idea even what type of band they were. I usually don’t have very high expectations in a situation like that, but I like to give everything a fair shot.

Within five seconds of the first song, I was pretty sure that I liked it. It took about 30 seconds for me to realize that I loved it. That first song (“Peaks”) is really reminiscent of the early EITS stuff, so I was really impressed. That song isn’t available for public sharing, but this one is.

“Scarecrow” by TWENTYFOURLIVES

It’s a bit of a slow build, and then there’s a bit from about 1:20 to about 2:20 where there’s a really ghostly guitar bit going on. It makes me think of the magnificent Japanese shoegaze/post-rock band Mono.

The vocals are subtle and whispery enough that they don’t get in the way of the elaborate stuff that’s going on with their guitars and the simple genius of the bass line. I’m not really a fan of vocals in post-rock songs, but I quite like them here.

There are tons of examples of post-rock songs that I love because of the dizzying heights and cacophonous buzzes and drawn-out decrescendo in the coda. This song doesn’t have any of those things, and I think it’s better because of it.

The album will be out on September 15, and you can pre-order a digital copy via bandcamp here. You can also score their 2011 EP Mammoth here by naming your own price.


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