Last month I had the chance to check out a great performance of Chicago’s Anathallo, as they tour the release of their latest album, Canopy Glow.
Anathallo formed in 2000 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Joynt. Since performing at Coachella in 2007, they have been creating quite a buzz, with their unique sound being described as something between the Animal Collective and Sufjan Stevens.
This seven piece ensemble, similarly to bands like Broken Social Scene, is set up as a collective, a bit of a trend in the North American indie scene at the moment. Arguably this encourages a bit of a revolving door policy, with the line up perpetually changing, fuelling their creativity and energy.
Their sophomore release is a geeky combination of sensitive folk accompanied by an almost dizzying variety of instruments. Including everything from horns, guitars, piano, bells, to chains, stomp boxes, pipes, and velcro… yes you read that right. Canopy Glow, is full of energy with tight interlocking harmonics and distorted chords. Thematically the album is concerned with death, yet in a way this seems contradictory to the light upbeat tempo and cheery choruses of many of the songs. The interplay between the percussion and the boy-girl vocals on Italo demonstrates the great interplay between band members and the multitude of instruments they incorporate into their sound.
All in all this album is certainly worth checking out.