thee silver mt zion memorial orchestra & tra-la-la band – horses in the sky

i have concluded, after effort, that i dislike the combination of godspeed musicians playing and singing (tra-la-la-ing?). the latter is my issue. efrim has a voice i can’t absorb for some reason. i realise that could be the point, but if it is i reject it. which is odd, because in quieter moments he sounds like a less melodic damon albarn and an on-par david berman, and those characteristics don’t bother me.

the musical elements are furtive and contain very original folk uses of strings that sound almost central european. combined with sometimes loud drums and outright rock, the instrumental aspects are almost as beautiful as anything they ever created.

having said above that singing don’t work, the trajectory of the first song explores so much different terrain in a way that does not seem disjointed – and the beginning of the end of the song, around the ten-minute mark, is a beautiful sorrowful roundelay that can’t help but raise emotion.

and yet, the timing of its release, and what the band’s members had previously done, made this feel a little too much like they had jumped on someone else’s wagon (arcade fire, anyone?). i guess the question is more aptly asked; who came first?

i never thought anything to do with godspeed would result in a rhetorical question such as that.

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