Even though they've been around for seven years, I never thought to check out Elbow till I read they were opening some of REM's European dates this tour. Then they won this year's Mercury Prize, beating out incredible records by Burial and Radiohead, whose Colin Greenwood said Elbow deserved it. That was quite enough for me, so I promptly gave the album a listen and I gotta say, I was not prepared for how good it was. Incredibly mature, complex and compelling. Has bumped Okkervil out of the CD player and is now on permanent repeat. And I have to get their other three albums.
Again, it's a whole album that begs to be listened to in its entirety, so hard to choose a single track, but here's the song that most resembles Radiohead, and I've never thought anybody resembled Radiohead. They come from Manchester, that perenially economically depressed region of England that has given us so much music from the Bee Gees and Herman's Hermits to the Sex Pistols, Joy Division, the Smiths, Oasis, the Verve, Badly Drawn Boy, Autechre and the list goes on.
If you've heard these guys compared to Coldplay or Keane, I gotta say NO WAY to that. OK, they are not as weird as Radiohead; they are playing in normal time signatures and using normal instruments and the song structures as well as the singer's voice are more conventional than Thom & Co's. but Coldplay and Keane are the Archies compared to these guys.
MP3 The Archies - Sugar, Sugar (from 1969's Everything's Archie)
***Four days till Sigur Rós in Montreal***